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CIA Director Brennan Admits He Was Lying: CIA Really Did Spy On Congress

timothy posted about 2 months ago | from the note-the-passive-voice-and-weasel-words dept.

Government 266

Bruce66423 (1678196) writes with this story from the Guardian: The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, issued an extraordinary apology to leaders of the US Senate intelligence committee on Thursday, conceding that the agency employees spied on committee staff and reversing months of furious and public denials. Brennan acknowledged that an internal investigation had found agency security personnel transgressed a firewall set up on a CIA network, called RDINet, which allowed Senate committee investigators to review agency documents for their landmark inquiry into CIA torture." (Sen. Diane Feinstein was one of those vocally accusing the CIA of spying on Congress; Sen. Bernie Sanders has raised a similar question about the NSA.)

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When will we... (5, Funny)

PoisOnouS (710605) | about 2 months ago | (#47576101)

get an apology from these lying bastards??

Re:When will we... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576119)

Apology? When will these fucking scumbags go to jail! Of course, the answer is never, because the fucking population is too damn stupid to do anything about it.

Re:When will we... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576205)

Because the Administration is to fucking incompetent to do a damn thing

Re:When will we... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576319)

They know that doing anything like that will result in retaliation (power grab) from the group of people calling the shots in the US. They/we/you don't want another 9/11 false flag spectacle and an "I told you so" from the security community.

Re:When will we... (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#47576173)

Fuck the apology. Put him in jail.

At this point there is no choice but to assume that when the CIA and NSA say they're in compliance with the law, they're bloody well lying.

When they're outright lying to the people who oversee them, they've become a criminal organization.

Re:When will we... (5, Insightful)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 2 months ago | (#47576227)

Jail isn't going to do any good unless you put the whole agency in jail.

The solution is a massive budget cut and laws that make specific conduct not only illegal but automatically appoint special prosecutors to act on. Then you put into law and fund an agency who's entire job is to spy on the CIA and report every time they break the law. The biggest problem with the post 9/11 revisions was we gave all these people basically immunity to do whatever they want in the name of national security. It's obscene.

Re:When will we... (5, Insightful)

alexo (9335) | about 2 months ago | (#47576277)

Jail isn't going to do any good unless you put the whole agency in jail.

Fine by me.

Re:When will we... (5, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#47576299)

Jail isn't going to do any good unless you put the whole agency in jail.

OK, fine.

If there is no oversight, and I don't mean a FISA court whose job it is to say everything is rosy, then you can't have an agency like this.

Having the CIA directly lying to congress about their activities, and actively spying on the people who are supposed to oversee them is something straight out of fiction -- only it's no longer fiction, they're doing anything they please, and no longer accountable to anybody.

Fuck, hit them up with a RICO suit. Do ANYTHING.

What next, he'll go into private industry as a security consultant for corporations? Oh, wait ...

This is bloody scary. Neither Americans nor the rest of the world signed up for a fucking security agency which is no longer under anyone's control except people who feel they can do anything they want.

Re:When will we... (4, Insightful)

eudas (192703) | about 2 months ago | (#47576521)

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Re:When will we... (1)

lgw (121541) | about 2 months ago | (#47576909)

The custodians can clean up after themselves. ;) Who polices the police police?

Police police police police police police.

One of my favorite English sentences, right up there with buffalos and "the horse raced past the barn fell down".

Re:When will we... (4, Funny)

Talderas (1212466) | about 2 months ago | (#47576593)

The NSA already spies on the CIA and FBI and has done so for a long time. Maybe we should ask them to validate.

Re:When will we... (5, Insightful)

Somebody Is Using My (985418) | about 2 months ago | (#47576917)

While I agree that it was more than just Berman doing illegal things, I think that by throwing him (and a selection of others) into prison it would send a message to the rest that this sort of activity is not condoned. This will make the rest reconsider taking the same actions.

Right now most people are "just following orders" because there are consequences to not doing so (losing their jobs) and no consequences to disobeying. We need to change that.

So yeah, throw him and his cronies in jail.

Re:When will we... (1)

PoisOnouS (710605) | about 2 months ago | (#47576239)

Fuck the apology. Put him in jail.

At this point there is no choice but to assume that when the CIA and NSA say they're in compliance with the law, they're bloody well lying.

When they're outright lying to the people who oversee them, they've become a criminal organization.

Going to jail would be the sincerest form of apology. At least then we'd know they're really sorry, although not necessarily for the correct reason.

Re:When will we... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576281)

No, no.

Jail is for people with less than 6 digits salary.

Re:When will we... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576675)

Nixon was impeached for less.

Re:When will we... (5, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | about 2 months ago | (#47576181)

"lying bastard" is more or less their job description.

Re:When will we... (4, Interesting)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 months ago | (#47576295)

I don't want an apology.

I want to see the files on congress, the last 10 executive branches and staff, the supreme court down to the clerks and all nationally known reporters.

Any lawyers readying a FOIA suit?

Re:When will we... (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about 2 months ago | (#47576297)

Now now congressman aren't lying all of the time

Re:When will we... (3, Funny)

mjtaylor24601 (820998) | about 2 months ago | (#47576843)

Yeah, only when their lips are moving.

Re:When will we... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576507)

Which set of lying bastards? Congress or the CIA?

So the CIA and NSA and DHS and DEA are lying. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576103)

So now what? Redefine honesty?

And no one will go to jail (5, Insightful)

bfmorgan (839462) | about 2 months ago | (#47576107)

So why is lying to Congress not a punishable offense?

well, when you put it that way... (2)

Thud457 (234763) | about 2 months ago | (#47576141)

Not since Oliver North found Congress to be quite contemptible.

Re:And no one will go to jail (4, Informative)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 months ago | (#47576177)

It is. The next step would be for the Senate oversight committee to vote to refer the matter for prosecution. The question is whether they want to go down this road or not. Generally congress has been reluctant to have recorded votes because of the pr hit.

Re:And no one will go to jail (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#47576251)

It is. The next step would be for the Senate oversight committee to vote to refer the matter for prosecution. The question is whether they want to go down this road or not.

The way I see it, if they don't go for prosecution, they've more or less given these agencies carte blanche to violate the law, lie about it, and have no consequences.

Sorry, but I think this sounds like treason, or at the very least an indication that all of the assurances we've had that they're playing by the rules is a pile of shit.

So, the question of "do you spy on Americans?" "Are you in compliance with the law?" "Have you been using this information to make yourself rich?" -- every single thing they do pretty much must be distrusted.

Blatantly lying to Congress means they've reached a point where they don't give a shit.

This is madness.

Re:And no one will go to jail (2)

micahraleigh (2600457) | about 2 months ago | (#47576373)

Part of the determination to prosecute will probably based on whether or not the executive branch (i.e. the White House) is of the same party as the Senate.

It is very hard for one part of the government (e.g. half of Congress) to attack a different branch when they're controlled by the same party.

But they should ...

Ultimately, I think that if the Senate doesn't go after the spy depts on this, the voters will lose trust in whatever party is not helping to fix it. As a tea party guy, I respect Pelosi for "draining the swamp" (Weiner, etc), but for Harry Reid to go after Obama ... I don't see that happening.

And I call that evil.

Re:And no one will go to jail (4, Insightful)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 months ago | (#47576375)

Treason is much more than just not doing what congress tells you to do. I agree with you congress should prosecute for lying under oath and lying to congress. They also might want to restructure these agencies. The intelligence agencies are out of control. But treason, no.

Re:And no one will go to jail (4, Informative)

sconeu (64226) | about 2 months ago | (#47576409)

It may sound like treason to you, but it's not.

Treason is specifically defined [usconstitution.net] in the Constitution.

While it's not treason, it sounds like multiple felonies to me.

Re:And no one will go to jail (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#47576487)

or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort

Well, arguably these clowns have become the enemy of democracy, the Constitution, and the rights of pretty much every person on the planet.

No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

And, he's now confessed.

OK, fine, maybe it's not technically treason. But if the US isn't going to do some serious cleaning of house, it's only going to get FAR worse from here.

The rot at the upper levels of these agencies has created a mentality of "by any means necessary", and a complete indifference to the law.

If he just says "oops, sorry about that" and he and his subordinates aren't seriously punished, this shit will only get worse.

Re:And no one will go to jail (1)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about 2 months ago | (#47576605)

While it's not treason, it sounds like multiple felonies to me.

Quite correct. It is espionage, which like treason, is a death penalty offense. I don't care what label you use to hang 'em, just as long as the end result is the same.

Re:And no one will go to jail - just like bankers! (4, Insightful)

ebusinessmedia1 (561777) | about 2 months ago | (#47576473)

I'm a moderate, who leans a but left, but I can say without equivocation that this administration has really let people down. Little knownn is that our current Attorney General, Eric Holder, was a lawyer who defended banks prior to coming to Washington. That not ONE of the banking CEO's or their very senior staffers is in jail for what was done several years ago, is an outrage! Unless we start JAILING people who otherwise think they can scoff at the law due to wealth or political connections, we are going down a road that violates the very tenets of our nation's forming.

Re:And no one will go to jail - just like bankers! (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#47576525)

we are going down a road that violates the very tenets of our nation's forming.

Going??? It's well underway.

9/11 was the most spectacular win for the terrorists, because they more or less kicked the foundations out from Western society, and have helped to create the worst form of surveillance state you can imagine.

This is the Stasi, the KGB, J Edgar Hoover, McCarthy, and cyberpunk all rolled up into one festering mass of shit.

Re:And no one will go to jail - just like bankers! (-1, Troll)

Jameel Aboulhosn (3771449) | about 2 months ago | (#47576971)

Lol, you actually think terrorists did 9/11. Cute.

Re:And no one will go to jail - just like bankers! (5, Informative)

Somebody Is Using My (985418) | about 2 months ago | (#47577011)

9/11 was the most spectacular win for the authoritarians, because they more or less kicked the foundations out from Western society, and have helped to create the worst form of surveillance state you can imagine.

FTFY

9/11 was a very public strike against the West by the terrorists but it did little to benefit their own goals (in fact, given the increased US involvement and the general unrest in the Middle East it probably pushed back their goals somewhat). We got to the current state of affairs in this country by our own doing, thanks to our own home-grown corruption and power-hungry factions and an apathetic populace.

9/11 may not have been engineered by us, but the people in power certainly took advantage of it when it happened.

Re:And no one will go to jail - just like bankers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576881)

You are starry-eyed and naïve. It is a universal principle of human organization that those who hold power are beholden to a separate set of laws from those who do not. It comes with the territory. Having power means having the power to avoid responsibility. That is just how it works.

Know your place.

Re:And no one will go to jail (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47576573)

The way I see it, if they don't go for prosecution, they've more or less given these agencies carte blanche to violate the law, lie about it, and have no consequences.

Welcome to the American legal system, where selective prosecution is standard operating procedure. The only reason to have a legal system which does not require prosecution for known crimes is to permit treating some people differently than others. It leads to the proliferation of bad laws.

Re:And no one will go to jail (4, Insightful)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 2 months ago | (#47576965)

Well we can all sleep safely knowing that at least baseball players will be smacked down for daring to lie to Congress.

Re:And no one will go to jail (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576589)

Correct. This IS madness. Primarily enabled by politics of the worst kind.

Fact: It is illegal to lie to Congress. I don't think there is ANY document, even matters of National Security, that specifically excuses that. If there is, I'm waiting for them to pull that out. But we won't see it here, because that's the current system we have. The highest offices of the US Governement, and it's agencies of Intelligence, are above the law.

I don't know if there is anything worse beyond Oligarchy, but if there is, we've gotten there.

Re:And no one will go to jail (1)

usuallylost (2468686) | about 2 months ago | (#47576671)

Even if they do refer it for prosecution it will just go to the Justice department’s Assistant Attorney for the Washington area who will refuse to prosecute. DOJ has already refused to even investigate this so it is unlikely they'll actually prosecute it. The sad fact is that there is really not much congress can do at this point. They can whine and complain, hold hearings, perhaps hold up some legislation/nominations or mess with the budget. Nothing that the White house can’t get away with simply ignoring. If by some miracle they actually pass something the President will simply veto it. So realistically it would take 2/3 of both houses agreeing to do something to really take any meaningful action here. I do not see that happening

Re:And no one will go to jail (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576813)

They are just talking heads and mid-level functionaries. The secret government that controls them will continue running the world just fine, no matter what punishments you impose.

Re:And no one will go to jail (1)

Koreantoast (527520) | about 2 months ago | (#47576459)

In particular, I don't know if the Democratically-controlled Senate really wants to create an opening for Republicans to go after their wounded and weakened Democratic White House.

Re:And no one will go to jail (2)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 months ago | (#47576569)

I'm not sure how weakened the White house is. You look at the electoral map I'd have even more trouble seeing how the Republicans would get to 270. Moreover how does going after the CIA weaken the White House? The CIA reports to the DNI who had broad support.

Re:And no one will go to jail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576199)

So why is lying to Congress not a punishable offense?

Because it's like spitting into the ocean?

Re:And no one will go to jail (2)

Entropius (188861) | about 2 months ago | (#47576413)

The correct internet term is "pissing in an ocean of piss."

Re:And no one will go to jail (3, Insightful)

alexo (9335) | about 2 months ago | (#47576291)

So why is lying to Congress not a punishable offense?

Depends on who does the lying and how well connected they are.

Re:And no one will go to jail (0)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about 2 months ago | (#47576307)

When your not under oath presumably

Re:And no one will go to jail (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#47576387)

Fine, waterboard the son of a bitch, get the truth out of him that way.

He seems to think it's OK for other people.

This man can no longer be trusted, and if he isn't prosecuted and jailed for what he's readily admitted, democracy in the US is fucked, and the rest of the world won't be far behind.

Democracy is separation of powers (1)

Daniel Oom (2826737) | about 2 months ago | (#47576343)

Agents do the spying.
Politicians do the lying.

Re:And no one will go to jail (2)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 2 months ago | (#47576399)

One of the many problems with our Constitution is the simple fact that many laws, particularly about government, have no penalties. Pass a law that establishes a religion? No punishment. Ignore a Supreme Court ruling? No punishment (just ask President Jackson) You are an on duty police officer, illegally engaged in electioneering (i.e. supporting a politician). No punishment.

Re:And no one will go to jail (4, Informative)

spacepimp (664856) | about 2 months ago | (#47576867)

Except there is a law on record for exactly this sort of behavior. The fact that it is not frequently/publicly followed up upon, is another matter (Clapper)

TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 47 > 1001

  1001. Statements or entries generally

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully—

(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;

(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or

(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;

shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both.

-snip-

(c) With respect to any matter within the jurisdiction of the legislative branch, subsection (a) shall apply only to—

(1) administrative matters, including a claim for payment, a matter related to the procurement of property or services, personnel or employment practices, or support services, or a document required by law, rule, or regulation to be submitted to the Congress or any office or officer within the legislative branch; or

(2) any investigation or review, conducted pursuant to the authority of any committee, subcommittee, commission or office of the Congress, consistent with applicable rules of the House or Senate.

Re:And no one will go to jail (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 months ago | (#47576969)

So why is lying to Congress not a punishable offense?

Congress used to keep those in contempt of Congress in jails in the old Guard rooms until they agreed to cooperate (or the session ended). The room that's now the House post office was last used in 1934 to hold a prisoner. Both the Legislature and the Judiciary have almost entirely abdicated their powers to the Executive Branch since then.

These days we have a sitting Attorney General who is convicted of Contempt of Congress (which carries a *minimum* one month jail sentence) and roams about freely and the Legislatures' intelligence committees are employed by the "intelligence community" directly (same as the Fed owns the banking committee). The Legislature really has no actual power to enforce its proceedings at this point.

See, this isn't a crime, it's just the employer checking up on his employees' work. I guess a couple of them thought they were due a raise and made a stink. A low-level employee was blamed and will probably be scapegoated/fired to make this all go away and then business will carry on as usual.

Then, Why isn't he being arrested and charged w/.. (4, Insightful)

SirGeek (120712) | about 2 months ago | (#47576117)

Charged with Treason ?

He violated his departments charter and law...

So Toss his ass into Gitmo and wait 15 years to bring him to trial ..

Re:Then, Why isn't he being arrested and charged w (4, Insightful)

sconeu (64226) | about 2 months ago | (#47576311)

That's not treason. Treason is specifically defined in the Constitution.

However, why isn't he being charged with multiple felonies, including perjury, etc...?

Re:Then, Why isn't he being arrested and charged w (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576379)

Anyone can be charged with anything. Once it hits a courtroom it will be thrown out. Like the man said, put him in Gitmo and postpone trial for 15 years. Waterboard him as he did to others.

Re:Then, Why isn't he being arrested and charged w (3, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | about 2 months ago | (#47576313)

So Toss his ass into Gitmo and wait 15 years to bring him to trial ..

What?!?!?! The people in Gitmo actually gets chance to go to trial???? /sarcasm

Re:Then, Why isn't he being arrested and charged w (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#47576323)

You more or less have to assume the entire upper management of the CIA (and other TLAs) are all equally corrupted.

They've decided that the people overseeing them don't know what they're talking about, and taken matters into their own hands.

Treason indeed. And there's no way just one guy is responsible. The whole system has rotted into this.

Re:Then, Why isn't he being arrested and charged w (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576449)

NOT Gitmo! Can't guarantee he won't get five star hotel treatment from his buddies there. Do like the CIA has done to so many others? Send him to another country completely unfriendly to him and his groups? Not quite the "American way" of course, except in practice it seems. Of course you could do like the FBI, just label him a child sex offender and toss him in with the imprisoned blue collars. Not quite the "American way" either of course, except in practice it seems.

Re:Then, Why isn't he being arrested and charged w (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576627)

Send him to Russia, and let Eddie Snowden, a car battery, and ignition coil and some jumper cables have some "quality time" with him...

Re:Then, Why isn't he being arrested and charged w (1)

Somebody Is Using My (985418) | about 2 months ago | (#47577047)

Or at the very least fired.

By his own words he has proven himself unfit for that position. Whether or not he has broken laws is for courts to decide and will probably take months - if not years - to play out to its conclusion. But in the mean time, that asshole needs to be removed from his position immediately.

That means new privacy laws right? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 2 months ago | (#47576123)

I mean, if they can spy on congress they can spy on anybody and we'll get new laws protecting our individual freedoms now. Right?

*crickets*

Re:That means new privacy laws right? (4, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | about 2 months ago | (#47576193)

Feinstein is only against spying when it happens to her. You're on your own.

Re:That means new privacy laws right? (2)

machineghost (622031) | about 2 months ago | (#47576333)

False: Feinstein is only against spying when she is forced by circumstances to be publically against it. If this had all happened in private I *highly* doubt she'd do anything about it (except pat the NSA on the back and help their head find new consulting gigs).

Re:That means new privacy laws right? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 months ago | (#47576489)

The CIA/NSA has so much dirt on all the congress critters that they will never do anything else but make distracting noises.

My one hope was that Snowden had gotten a copy of the files on congress. But those are the keys to the kingdom. No way he had access.

A senior administration official LIED?!?!?! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576135)

Oh, no!

That can't be true! It's the MOST TRANSPARENT ADMINISTRATION, EVAH!

Yay! Hopenchange!

Re:A senior administration official LIED?!?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576151)

You haven't been paying attention, blinded by partisan slogan bullshit. This has been happening since before 9/11.

Re:A senior administration official LIED?!?!?! (2)

micahraleigh (2600457) | about 2 months ago | (#47576393)

Yes ... but W. didn't reach for the "most transparent administration" banner.

And it's hazy how much of this ramped up during the Obama years.

Re:A senior administration official LIED?!?!?! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576433)

You haven't been paying attention, blinded by partisan slogan bullshit. This has been happening since before 9/11.

No, you haven't been paying attention.

Obama's DNI Clapper lied under oath [wikipedia.org] to Congress about mass surveillance programs.

Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder was held in Contempt of Congress [wikipedia.org] :

On June 28, 2012, Holder became the first U.S. Attorney General in history to be held in both criminal and civil contempt.

Obama's IRS political appointee and documented raging conservative hater [house.gov] Lois Lerner dog ate her hard drive, and she was also held in Contempt of Congress [wikipedia.org] for refusing to testify under oath about her politicization of the IRS.

So, "this has been happening since before 9/11?

Ummm, BULLSHIT.

So Cabinet-level officials such as the Attorney General and Director of National Intelligence have committed perjury during Congressional testimony or been held in Contempt of Congress before?

No, they haven't - every other time officials of that level have been about to be held in Contempt of Congress, the official caved and supplied Congress with what was being asked.

Holder still hasn't turned over the subpenaed documents that were the subject of his being held in Contempt of Congress.

NOTHING has happened to Clapper for committing PERJURY.

And how many more risible excuses is Lerner going to shit out?

Re:A senior administration official LIED?!?!?! (4, Insightful)

ATMAvatar (648864) | about 2 months ago | (#47576267)

Given the Snowden leaks, it *is* the most transparent administration ever. It's too bad that it took leaks to become transparent, but we may as well take what we can get.

Pants on fire (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576137)

So, thermodynamics it was.

Of course. (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 2 months ago | (#47576153)

Did you ever seriously doubt that the CIA was lying? They are paid to do this sort of work. Yes, yes, it says international and all that goody stuff in the contract but that is just for show. To feel safe the government is going to violate. Violate what? Everything. Including you and itself.

Jail (2)

pitchpipe (708843) | about 2 months ago | (#47576215)

Can we start fucking putting these traitors in jail now?!

Beware the monster you abide (5, Insightful)

BenJeremy (181303) | about 2 months ago | (#47576217)

It's a disease that needs to be stomped out, mercilessly. Allowing the NSA, DHS and CIA (hell, even the IRS, for that matter) to continue to operate as they are allowed to will swallow up the last vestiges of America and its dream.

The dystopia exists now but it's not too late to turn back.

Re:Beware the monster you abide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576609)

Americans have private police (SWAT), private prisons, and private judges... Why can't someone pay to implement the law? I'm sure international TV stations would love to watch the reality unfold....

Re:Beware the monster you abide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576649)

Um, how long have SWAT teams been private? I'm fairly certain they're an extension of the public police force.

Re:Beware the monster you abide (3, Informative)

foradoxium (2446368) | about 2 months ago | (#47576801)

there were stories about this in the past weeks..

"As part of the American Civil Liberties Union's recent report on police militarization, the Massachusetts chapter of the organization sent open records requests to SWAT teams across that state. It received an interesting response. As it turns out, a number of SWAT teams in the Bay State are operated by what are called law enforcement councils, or LECs. These LECs are funded by several police agencies in a given geographic area and overseen by an executive board, which is usually made up of police chiefs from member police departments...Some of these LECs have also apparently incorporated as 501(c)(3) organizations. And it’s here that we run into problems. According to the ACLU, the LECs are claiming that the 501(c)(3) status means that they're private corporations, not government agencies. And therefore, they say they're immune from open records requests."

http://www.dailykos.com/story/... [dailykos.com]

also this link, which I think does a better (and more snarky) job in discussing the issue.

https://www.techdirt.com/artic... [techdirt.com]

Re:Beware the monster you abide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576861)

Um, how long have SWAT teams been private? I'm fairly certain they're an extension of the public police force.

Nope, many are incorporated and claim to be 501(c)(3) private corporations. Mostly to deflect liability and FOIA requests.

Re:Beware the monster you abide (1)

spacepimp (664856) | about 2 months ago | (#47577029)

The recent news in Massachusetts regarding their attempts to claim they were private, shows that this is a half truth.

Re:Beware the monster you abide (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 months ago | (#47577043)

Allowing the NSA, DHS and CIA (hell, even the IRS, for that matter) to continue to operate as they are allowed to will swallow up the last vestiges of America and its dream.

Don't forget the Fed, which funds all this.

The dystopia exists now but it's not too late to turn back.

It's actually the collapse of the Fed's product that will be the only thing that can scale it back. It could resolve nicely or turn into a nightmare - here's hoping for the best!

No one calling for resignations (3, Informative)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 2 months ago | (#47576223)

Why hasn't John Brennan been fired yet? If this was any private company in the United States, he'd have been fired on the spot for lying to his superiors for months and trying to cover up his own incompetence.

Re:No one calling for resignations (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576353)

I think that you misspelled "Promoted" in your analogy.

Re:No one calling for resignations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576761)

The headline writer (don't know if that's timothy or the submitter, but it's not hard to guess) is illiterate. TFA merely says Brennan admitted he had been wrong, but doesn't say anything about admitting he had lied.

Typically there's a long list of ways that a government person's statements can become "no longer operative" for Brennan to cycle through now, but lying usually isn't on that list.

Re:No one calling for resignations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576827)

That depends. Was he spying on Republicans for the Democrats or the Democrats for the Republicans? Or perhaps even leading both to believe he was on their side?

Spying on their own network? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576247)

At first it said they where spying, then it said they were monitoring the use of the CIA network. CIA monitoring the use of the CIA network? That seems obvious.

To quote Gomer Pyle: (3)

gerardrj (207690) | about 2 months ago | (#47576271)

Surprise. Surprise. Surprise.

Finish the punch line. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 months ago | (#47576331)

...that isn't my finger.

This might be the one thing that gets Congress to (4, Interesting)

raymorris (2726007) | about 2 months ago | (#47576345)

Congress didn't much care when the NSA was spying on us peons. Now that Congress-critters are the ones being spied on, I'm thinking they just might do something about it. Thanks for pissing of the right people, CIA.

Re:This might be the one thing that gets Congress (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576483)

Knowing the Senate intelligence committee, they'll try to have the NSA and IRS absorb the projects of the CIA. Feinstein has nothing against spying on everyone else, but she'll want the spying done by an agency that is primarily loyal to her (or at least her party).

Re:This might be the one thing that gets Congress (1)

gorbachev (512743) | about 2 months ago | (#47576599)

This is always the case. They are completely incapable of seeing things from their constituents' point of view (unless of course there's money or votes to be made by doing so), which for an elected official is pretty tragic.

This is also why the only way we get any changes in gun legislation is if someone shoots one of their kids.

The Germans must've also been quite happy with the difference of the reaction of NSA spying on German citizens vs. their Chancellor.

That's what I call a... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576405)

Clandestine Interception Admission

Final Authority? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576423)

So who is the final authority? i.e. "how high up does it go?". I doubt its Brennan himself who made the call.

So I have to ask... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576435)

When will the US public finally realize that the CIA/NSA have completely overstepped their respective charters, committed crimes, broken laws, and arguably committed treason.

It's time to shut the NSA completely down. Turn off the data centers, wipe the hard drives, auction off all the gear, and fire everyone, and put a ban on them seeking employment in the public sector for at least 10 years.

As for the CIA, I would suggest putting Brennan in gitmo for the next 10 years, and then maybe try him for treason. Then I would suggest banning all technology from the CIA for the next 25 years and a ban on any CIA member from entering the US. They can live in the host countries they spy on, and phone in their reports.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 2 months ago | (#47576441)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q... [wikipedia.org]

So, if government employees start realizing that government power is too broad, unchecked, and outsized, will they actually do the work necessary to limit the size and scope of government, even though it might mean limiting their own personal powers?

It sounds like there's an opportunity here, but I'm not sure if any government employees have the wisdom to embrace the right answer.

Maybe Sentor Feinstein is connected to terrorists (1)

Koreantoast (527520) | about 2 months ago | (#47576453)

Who knows, maybe the President will come out and say that Senator Feinstein and her congressional staff are connected to foreign terrorists and thus a legitimate intelligence target. Why else would he continue to stand up for Director Brennan? Even in the political cynic in me is surprised that the White House didn't sacrifice him just to make the attention go away.

Did he lie? (1, Interesting)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 months ago | (#47576499)

His statement says some CIA employees did what Feinstein suspected. This brings up the question of "What did the director know and when did he know it?" but doesn't necessarily mean he was lying any more than Hillary lied at most of her appearances before Congress...oh, never mind.

Unfortunately, Congress will make itself exempt (5, Interesting)

tekrat (242117) | about 2 months ago | (#47576541)

And Congress *ONLY*.
Consider the following; Until very recently Congress were the only individuals exempt from insider trading laws. Congress is exempt from TSA searches when boarding a plane, Congress is exempt from *not* being paid during government shutdowns.

Congress takes care of itself, NOT the people on the United States. Therefore, Congress will pass a law making itself exempt from CIA/NSA spying and the rest of the country be damned.

Trust me on this one, if there's one thing Congress is consistent about, with 100% bipartisan support, it's about making sure they are elite, untouchable, and completely corrupt.

So... (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 months ago | (#47576689)

So this is the problem... The intelligence agencies effectively answer to no-one now. They've declared themselves so important they can lie to congress. Their over-site in the judicial branch is so secret less than 10 people on earth know what goes on in there. They feel that they can make legal decisions allowing them to ignore established law, on their own, tell no one and then lock the reasoning behind that in a lawers safe. They can lie to congress, the president maybe even to each other.

Using all of this, they could easily establish that their existence and the continuation of these programs is critical to national security. Then run operations to push their agenda in the media (propaganda, forum hacking, news site infiltration etc....) they could threaten members of congress through blackmail, defy the president in secret, etc... and there's absolutely no way to stop any of that.

Is congress unaware of this? Unable to do anything? Or do they just not care? This has to be stopped. If it's not, we will certainly see this power abused in a horrific way in the near future if it hasn't been already. And I'm not talking about Iraq/Afghanistan/Guantanamo horrific, I mean much much worse. Are we really going to allow ourselves to turn into the 4th riche?

Re:So... (1)

foradoxium (2446368) | about 2 months ago | (#47576831)

Its okay, haven't you been watching Scandal? They are truly a patriotic bunch of people who are only trying to protect us from a murderous terrorist who happens to be the long thought dead mother of the President's mistress. They exist outside the law because they do what others can't or won't do to protect the US of A.

Shocker (1)

kencurry (471519) | about 2 months ago | (#47576731)

He lied to congress ... well I never.

Seriously, who ever thought that was a trustworthy guy to begin with?

Fairplay for Congress. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576735)

Why should Congress people be exempt.
We get spied on and unless they are willing to stop that, they should get their fair share.

derp (1)

Jameel Aboulhosn (3771449) | about 2 months ago | (#47576859)

You mean there are people who believe the CIA didn't spy on Congress? It's their job. Well it's more the NSAs job but spooks regardless.
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