President Barack Obama has shown his willingness to shred the Constitution and spy on American citizens. But he has been caught red handed in a major crime spree that I didn’t want to believe was possible.
This report shows The White House not only knew about the CIA spying on the United States Senate, but they were behind the spying! This is incredible.
At the time, CIA Director John Brennan had discussions with top White House Staff – including Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough – about an effort to scan hard drives of staffers used on the Senate Intelligence Committee. These staffers worked for Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and they wanted the secret details of the investigation on interrogation techniques by the CIA.
After becoming aware of the CIA’s snooping, Feinstein argued that the CIA had “likely violated the constitutional separation of powers,” according to The Huffington Post.
The White House, not surprisingly, declined comment, implying that Obama’s Administration agrees and is either scrambling for a defense or simply has none.
The new information suggesting the White House was aware of — and did not stop — the CIA’s computer snooping is unlikely to improve the existing distrust between Senate committee members and the executive branch. Feinstein has said that the CIA’s computer search likely violated the constitutional separation of powers, an allegation the White House has declined to directly address.
The Oval Office’s prior knowledge of the controversial computer review will no doubt worsen the tensions that have erupted over the matter between the executive branch, its chief intelligence agency and the lawmakers tasked with their oversight.
In January 2014, agency personnel became concerned that a set of sensitive, internal CIA documents known as the Panetta Review had somehow made their way into the hands of Feinstein’s investigators, who were working at a secure, off-site CIA facility to compile a 6,600-page study on the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program. To determine whether Senate staff had obtained the documents, five CIA employees — two lawyers and three IT personnel — sifted through a walled-off hard drive on the Senate’s side of a shared computer network. (The Inspector General later determined that those five employees had engaged in wrongdoing.)
After determining that the document did indeed exist on the Senate’s side of the highly secure computer system, an agency lawyer consulted Brennan. It was not immediately clear whether this lawyer was one of the five employees identified by the Inspector General, though the lawyer does write that he was “ultimately responsible for ensuring the security” of the shared computer system used to compile the torture study.