Feinstein blows the whistle on CIA torture


California Senior Senator Dianne Feinstein, a longtime member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a staunch past public defender of the CIA, broke ranks yesterday to expose repeated CIA lies to the Intelligence Committee about the so-called "enhanced interrogation" program against suspected terrorists. She charges that documents provided by former director Leon Panetta proved this program to have included "harsh" torture, contrary to statements of the CIA leaders under oath before the Committee.

Further, she accuses the CIA of destroying or removing previously provided electronic records of interrogations where numerous torture methods - not only waterboarding - were used. These records were made available electronically by former CIA Director Leon Panetta, but have now disappeared from the network drive provided by the CIA to the Committee.

Senator Feinstein went public to counter CIA cover-up lies by current director John Brennan alleging the Committees' own staff was responsible for "hacking" the information.

It does not take too much speculation to see the outlines of the unfolding scandal. Vice President Cheney for sure, and probably President Bush, and possibly even President Obama (despite his campaign promises to oppose and end the torture programs), instructed the CIA to use any means necessary to extract information from suspects. Cheney, indeed, has been openly contemptuous of analyses that shows little to no, even negative, consequences for both intelligence and lives, in using torture methods.

CIA officers clearly engaged in torture  and did so under either direct or indirect orders from the highest level, and are now clearly attempting to organize a cover-up in the face of several investigations of criminal actions in the torture program. Because the true leaders who ordered the torture are now effectively beyond the reach of the law, the CIA officers have been left hanging, and are now burning bridges.

I welcome Senator Feinstein's courage. No one should be naive about the lengths to which torturers will go to avoid the reckoning they surely deserve. It remains to be seen if Congress can make even a dent in the arrogance of the CIA, and, since we are living in the post-Snowden and Wikileaks world, the entire national security establishment. If they do not, one trembles to think of the costs in blood and treasure that will ultimately be paid if the people have to fix this corruption themselves.

The outrages of torture, gross interference in the affairs of other nations (that then sets up grounds for disastrous military occupations and invasions), the Cold War mentality of numerous pockets in state, foreign policy, intelligence and defense institutions, the near mutiny of the Petraeus - McChrystal faction over winding down the Iraq and Afghan wars, the recent war fever against Iran and Syria, and State Department provocations in the Ukraine, from the same quarters as well - these are all recent signs of serious anti-democratic tendencies.

One more speculation - or apprehension: are defense industries - the "military-industrial complex" - finally fulfilling the dark destiny warned by President Eisenhower more than a half century ago? Are they aggravating and intensifying, even creating, conflicts just to keep themselves in business?

Photo: AP

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  • Sorry- the twenty-second word in the second sentence, in the comment below, "hypercritical" should be hypocritical-in the context here hypercritical does not even make sense.
    Thanks for the correction

    Posted by E.E.W. Clay, 03/17/2014 3:07pm (2 years ago)

  • With all due respect to brother John Case and the PW as staffer, the whistle blowing, and the implications outlined here by Senator Feinstein, are much more significant than the article suggests.
    Much of the information extant, including views of the beleaguered Edward Snowden, say that Feinstein, in her revelations is being grossly hypercritical, just as Merkel in Germany(not that she is in the same station), because she may being saying her intelligence committee is off limits for spying and cover-up by the CIA, but the private and public citizens and organizations of the United States of America, and citizens all over the world, are not off limits to CIA spying.
    These are not indications of "..anti-democratic tendencies", these are wholesale, blatant(with blatant cover-up)atrocities against international human rights of the most blood thirsty, murderous, vicious, brazen, tortuous imperialist state, in the history of human kind, by the United States of America.
    That is not to say there is not much truth in what both Feinstein and our own John Case are writing and witnessing.
    Of course Eisenhower was correct of his warning of the military-industrial complex, Feinstein is correct on the CIA violating the U. S. Constitution, but Snowden is also correct on his N S A violations in their scope, depth and threat to all people in the U. S., and the world, and civilization, for peace, security and human rights.
    We are now, in PA windows involved in a discussion of the state, as viewed by Marx and Americans.
    There was a certain view of a famous Marxist American(an elected official) by the name of Joseph Weydemeyer, in Missouri.
    In the middle of the 19 century, Colonel Weydemeyer held that we need a "dictatorship" of the working people to avoid the massive abuse of rulers of the working class's economic human and worker rights.
    To Weydemeyer, Marx, Lenin, and activists after them, the superstructure of the state, in its imperialistic, parasitic, moribund, reactionary nature, has long outlived its usefulness as expander of modern industry and is now the bane of human civilization.
    N S A, C I A, and abhorrent, imperialist actions of empire and reaction, from Venezuela to the Ukraine, by the government and state of the United States of America, abundantly demonstrate this.
    We must build unity to stop these moves to destroy civilization.

    Posted by E.E.W. Clay, 03/14/2014 1:47pm (2 years ago)

  • Glad Feinstein finally came out on this. Where has she been for years while she and her committee did nothing about the abuses regarding spying on the American people.? It's a problem, it seems now, that the CIA has gone after lawmakers. As I said, better late than never, but how about calling for the removal of Brennan as chief of intelligence? That would show she is being serious. She has a lot to do to prove herself to the American people because she obviously has known for years about all this stuff.

    Posted by John W, 03/13/2014 3:15pm (2 years ago)

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