Senators Don't Want The CIA Spying On Them, But Are Just Fine With NSA Surveillance Measures, Snowden Cries
Hypocrisy, cries NSA leaker Edward Snowden. After Sen. Dianne Feinstein, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, accused the CIA of spying on U.S. senators who were investigating a controversial interrogation program Tuesday, Snowden released a statement, calling Feinstein a hypocrite. Apparently Feinstein is OK with the government spying on millions of U.S. citizens, but not U.S. senators. Maybe that hit a little too close to home for her, huh?
In a statement to NBC News, Snowden said:
It's clear the CIA was trying to play 'keep away' with documents relevant to an investigation by their overseers in Congress, and that's a serious constitutional concern. But it's equally if not more concerning that we're seeing another 'Merkel Effect,' where an elected official does not care at all that the rights of millions of ordinary citizens are violated by our spies, but suddenly it's a scandal when a politician finds out the same thing happens to them.
According to NBC, Snowden was referring to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who did not take any action against the NSA for monitoring mass communications of German citizens, but spoke out after hearing reports that the U.S. was listening to her own conversations. Again, a little too close to home.
Feinstein publicly detailed how the CIA removed documents from computers being used by the Senate Intelligence Committee for its investigation Tuesday, and confirmed that this matter has been referred to the Justice Department since the CIA may have violated federal laws and the Fourth Amendment. Although Feinstein asked for the CIA to recognize its wrongdoing and apologize, CIA Director John Brennan is denying Feinstein's claims.
At a Council on Foreign Relations event Tuesday, Brennan said: "As far as the allegation of CIA hacking into Senate computers, nothing could be further from the truth. That's just beyond the scope of reason."
As Bustle previously reported:
There are recent accusations that the CIA monitored the computers of several Senate aides who were preparing the torture report. After members of Congress lodged complaints, the CIA Inspector General’s office demanded this week that the Justice Department launch an investigation into the allegations.
Naturally, officials are staying tight-lipped about the investigation. However, the “actions” to which Udall refers is believed to be the computer-spying that allegedly took place after CIA officials suspected members of the Senate committee had gained unauthorized access to agency documents.
This occurred last year, after CIA director John Brennan offered a rebuttal to the 6,000-plus page report, challenging several of the facts listed and denying the report’s conclusion that the torture methods used didn’t yield any helpful outcomes. Six months later, in Dec. 2012, Udall countered Brennan’s claims, saying he’d come across an internal CIA report which “corroborates some of the important findings of the Committee Study,” according to Udell’s letter, and ”contradicts the CIA’s official June 27, 2013, response.”
Udall’s statement was a red flag for the CIA, suggesting that there had, in fact, been unauthorized access of their database.
The Senate’s report took around four years to compile, and allegedly cost around $40 million to put together. Part of that cost was incurred because the CIA insisted that classified cables could only be reviewed on computers at a secure facility in Northern Virginia. It was these computers that the CIA allegedly monitored.