The US media and the CIA’s spying on Congress [World Socialist Website]

18 March 2014

Today marks one week since the speech by Dianne Feinstein on the floor of the US Senate in which the California Democrat, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, publicly charged the CIA with cover-up, the withholding of documents, and unconstitutional spying on her committee, which has the legal responsibility to oversee the spy agency.

Feinstein, a longtime rubber-stamp defender of the US intelligence agencies, accused the CIA of attempting to intimidate her committee and charged that the agency “may well have violated the separation-of-powers principle embodied in the United States Constitution,” and also “the Fourth Amendment, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as Executive Order 12333, which prohibits the CIA from conducting domestic searches or surveillance.”

In the days since Feinstein’s speech, it has emerged that the White House itself deliberately withheld documents and may well have worked with the CIA and its director, John Brennan, in deleting material initially provided to the committee. These actions were taken in an attempt to cover up one of the greatest crimes of the 21st century—the systematic torture of prisoners at CIA secret prisons established around the world in the name of the “war on terror.”

Top officials in the Obama administration, including the president, are potentially implicated in impeachable offenses.

There is a vast gulf between the significance of the revelations and their treatment in the American media, which is moving as quickly as possible to bury the story. Since Friday, there has not been a single news article on the topic in major daily newspapers such as the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.

The only major newspaper to publish an editorial on the topic in recent days was the Washington Post, but this was only from the standpoint of obscuring the far-reaching implications of Feinstein’s allegations. The editors, clearly concerned about the potentially explosive consequences of the revelations of criminal activity by the CIA, called Monday for quick publication of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s 6,300-page report on CIA torture, along with an internal CIA review of the agency’s torture program and Brennan’s rebuttal to the Senate report. This is, they write, necessary to “maintain the essential confidence of the American people” in the spy agencies.

In the course of the editorial, the Post downplays the spying charges while solidarizing itself with the CIA’s arguments, declaring, “In principle, Mr. Brennan is right to argue that certain documents are legitimately excluded from disclosure to Congress…”

Excerpted; full article link: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/03/18/pers-m18.html

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