Sunday March 9, 2014, 12:27 am
At the outset, I freely admit that oversight of our national security organs has been the Obama administrations weakest area. However the abuses of power are far fewer than they were under Bush, or would be under any Republican. Obama has failed, because he left those areas largely in Republican hands, and when he did appoint Democrats, they came from Hillary’s camp instead of his own more progressive advisors, who had based his campaign on transparency. Now the CIA appears to have committed a major criminal act, putting them way out of bounds.
Sunday March 9, 2014, 3:25 am
"Their search not only raised constitutional questions about the propriety of an intelligence agency investigating its congressional overseers, but has also resulted in two parallel inquiries by the Justice Department — one into the C.I.A. and one into the committee."
For anyone who has ever read a Robert Ludlum novel (or seen a Jason Bourne movie) this comes as no surprise. We were supposed to have an organization to investigate internal to the country issues and one to investigate external issues. From the start the CIA has been an abject failure, as often spying on US as our "enemies", involved in crimes of violence, propped up dictator's, instigated coup's in countries as it saw fit and operated more like a criminal organization than a legal one. The FBI has its own tawdry history but the CIA ranks right up their with the old KGB in my estimation. I do admit to surprise at the President's leaving so much of the security leadership in place from the Bush presidency - it is not like they had a sterling reputation then, I think much of the crap that led us into Iraq came from this disturbed bunch of paranoiacs. I hope this time, at long last, this rogue agency IS held accountable and reformed, which may mean, in the parlance of the last Bourne movie, burning it to the ground and starting over. Because this does us no good and the agency is a clear and present danger to the rest of the world as well.
Sunday March 9, 2014, 9:00 am
What a mess, different kind of government agencies spying on people, CIA, FBI don't forget NSA, all doing a terrible job. Now one of them (only one, how about the NSA) starts spying outside their reserved area to try and bury their shoddy work.
The work of these agencies, well, of those we know of has only led to more and more paranoia among both politicians and the public and the way they are run, and the secrecy surrounding them has added to the general distrust many people in this country have towards their government.
Sunday March 9, 2014, 9:32 am
Re: CIA: To quote Mr. Oliver Hardy: ""Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into." Hope to see some Justice done in the investigation(s). Seems like it should be restructured, and do away with NSA. Thanks, Tom for this.
Sunday March 9, 2014, 10:18 am
Sung to the tune of Three Blind Mice: Three Rogue Agencies. OK, no it doesn't really fit the tune, but the FBI, the CIA, and the NSA are ALL rogue agencies and ALL need to be scrapped and started over on. Like that's goung to happen.
I seem to remember there was a time when law enforcement was respected. Around the Eisenhower administration. Although even then there were exceptions, like the South and the FBI. But the exceptions were still shocking. Now they are business as usual.
The CIA has the singular duty of gathering information that is NOT of a domestic source. Spying domestically is the task of the NSA, The CIA has (not surprisingly) once again crossed the line and breeched the trust. Both of these agencies seem to running at full capacity with no accountability. The House is still investigating the non existent IRS and Benghazi situations, but not vigorously investigating either the CIA or the NSA, and yes, we do not want to forget that the FBI is in the same salmagundi as the other two agencies. The FBI is tasked with law enforcement on a national level, or when their assistance is requested by a local police agency. Why is the FBI involved with this? Questions - and no answers.
Thanks TC - you seem to be back to yourself again!
Sunday March 9, 2014, 12:32 pm
There is no one in charge. Everyone thinks that our government has qualified, intelligent people running all departments. People with ethics and integrity. Nothing could be further from the truth. In many cases, the people who are put in charge are "little people" (not literally), while the actual people who are supposed to be on top of everything are out doing who knows what. This happens at every level of business, and government is no different. "When the cat is away the mice will play". That is why having too large of a government is not a good thing. No one knows what is going on and, it appears, especially the President of the United States. I've long said that our government can be compared to the story of The Wizard of Oz. It's just a tiny little man behind a curtain throwing out illusions of control. McCartney's song "Let it Be" just keeps running through my totally over-stressed mind as I read more and more reasons to believe that nothing we do will ever make a difference.
Sunday March 9, 2014, 1:15 pm
Nothing to add, its been said so well above.....just rolling through, tossing green metallic stars everywhere to let them fall where they may....and rolling out again.......(yeah, go ahead, imagine me as the professor in the wheelchair in Rocky Horror rolling through the mansion..I don't mind....if you wanna substitute gender, what the hell, I don't care), :)
Did that just give everyone a mental mind you-know-what? I hope so, everything is getting too damned dark and broody. Time to lighten up. Just a tad ok.....
Sunday March 9, 2014, 3:02 pm
Since I was a kid, during Vietnam, we KNEW the CIA was running a ghost government/war machine..I Couldn't Understand how ANYONE would vote for George Bu$h $r (ex-head of CIA) .to be Vice Pres., and then President...Iran Contra SHOULD have reminded them..so George the Le$$er adds Another alphabet "agency" and really whoops it up that these competitive "agencies" try to out-spy each other.. WHY doesn't CONgre$$ DEFUND these Rogue ghost-governments???? Are they AFRAID of what the Agencies have on them? Hmm...I would like to know what countries these Agencies "own & operate" (besides our own)?!
Sunday March 9, 2014, 7:40 pm
I guess it is time--the CIA hasn't received a serious slap down for illegal domestic activities since the Nixon era. One plus, perhaps--Obama proposed moving the NSA to a different reporting channel, an approach that sometimes succeeds in weeding out rogue activity.
Sunday March 9, 2014, 8:58 pm
Congress has let the CIA run riot as long as it suited their purposes. Now the shoe is on the other foot and they are ALARMED! I agree with Joanne, the CIA, Fbi, and NSA are all rogue agencies and need to be reined in and instructed to what their actual duties are, and supervised to see that the stay in their realm. The NSA is not our official Big Brother. I understand that an elderly grandmother, like me, can be investigated for having an opinion. TC, I agree with you, Obama should have rid himself of all the Bush appointees preferably at the beginning of his first term. His transparency has evaporated due to the people he has relied on to give him information.
Sunday March 9, 2014, 9:41 pm
One major problem with these agencies is that their division of power doesn't jive with what bureaucrats do for career-advancement, and to do its job each one requires tools which can be used well outside of its purview. As long as the same tools are useful to work within and beyond their purview, they have the means to overstep their bounds. As long as bureaucrats advance their careers by taking on more under whatever branches they manage, these agencies have motive.
The central limits on their activities are rules that will not be obeyed, and those who refuse to play by the rules will rise above others. They discredit the rest of the rules and create an unscrupulous corporate culture. Now the question is how to get around this problem. Unfortunately, any separation of tasks will run into this problem with bureaucrats and separation of tasks by means (separating SigInt, HumInt, and whatever else) would likely hamstring investigations which require more than one of these gathering-methods. Nobody can really afford to abandon methods of espionage, so the most reasonable solutions, then, may have to involve changing the corporate culture and the method by which promotion occurs.
Perhaps case-records and volume of cases beyond some point should not be considered for promotions, only certain performance-statistics which do not reflect the type of case. That still wouldn't have prevented this case, but it might help. A possible solution for this case would be rapid turnover of high management, preventing current leaders from having a personal stake in defending the acts of a few years ago, but that might cause havoc in operations.
Does anybody have any other ideas about long-term fixes to the overstepping of bounds?