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CIA Blocks More Inquiries

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In a recent New York Times article about efforts by the Senate Intelligence Committee to get its hands on (and perhaps release?) an internal report on torture that the CIA doesn’t want to turn over, the author mentions in passing the pending nomination of Caroline D. Krass to be the top lawyer at the Agency.

He then notes that:

Ms. Krass is a ca­reer gov­ern­ment law­yer who works at the Jus­tice De­part­ment’s Of­fice of Le­gal Coun­sel, the arm of the de­part­ment that ad­vis­es the White House on the le­gal­ity of do­mes­tic and for­eign poli­cies.

The of­fice was par­tic­u­lar­ly con­tro­ver­sial dur­ing the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion, when lawyers there wrote lengthy mem­os ap­prov­ing C.I.A. in­ter­ro­ga­tion meth­ods like wa­ter­board­ing and sleep dep­ri­va­tion, as well as sign­ing off on the ex­pan­sion of sur­veil­lance by the Na­tion­al Se­cu­rity Agency.

That is very useful information, worthy of its own article.

Because the move of Krass from OLC to CIA is highly suspicious. After all, they’re taking someone from the very heart of the cover-up over torture at the Agency and putting her in charge of… legal blocking of inquiries into CIA actions.

This would not be the first time in recent memory that an organization that is all about subterfuge has moved to prevent the truth from getting out by shuffling key personnel between it and other parts of the Executive Branch. In another instance, the CIA last year sent Sheryl Shenberger, who had served as a branch chief in the CIA counterterrorism center between 2001 and 2003, to be in charge of declassification of documents at the National Archives. Bet that she hasn’t rushed to make available documents pertaining to the September 11 attacks.

The Times article, published under the dull headline, “Senate Asks C.I.A. to Share Its Report on Interrogations,” unsurprisingly does not seem to have made any waves. And we have not noticed anyone else drawing attention to the buried sub-narrative about Krass’s new appointment.

If these kinds of congressional committees are serious about actually representing the interests of the American people, after years of failures on that front, they might start by taking a closer look at dodgy- looking personnel moves.

 

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  • Charlie Primero

    Senators begging CIA. Hmmm.

    I was taught in High School civics class there is some Legislative Branch thing that is supposed to kick in when the Executive Branch is suspected of doing illegal stuff.

    Doesn’t work apparently.

    • planckbrandt

      Judicial Branch is supposed to kick in when either one of the Executive or Legislative Branches is suspected of doing illegal stuff. The Supreme Court has the final call to pull judicial review of any law, rule, procedure, policy or practice used in any of the other branches of government. Doesn’t work because it has been sabotaged by conservative appointments to the Supreme Court. They will go down in history along with Torquemada and the Inquisition. Plutocrat appointments are sending the 300M+ American citizens to the Plutocrats’ slaughter like sheep. John Roberts is now the hatchet man sending us all to our doom. He claims he is a good Catholic by the way and will show up in Church in Bethesda on Sunday! The principle is called Judicial Review and the case law precedent was set in Marbury vs Madison. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judicial_review_in_the_United_States

  • dutch

    Allowing the special prosecutor law to lapse has turned out to be a disaster for transparency.

  • Chuck (Smithfix) Smith

    “If these kinds of congressional committees are serious about actually representing the interests of the American people,” You are kidding right?

  • sgtdoom

    My answer to planckbrandt (couldn’t fit it at the bottom?):

    Yeah…riiight…like SCOTUS has been in direct violation of the US Constitution for how along now? I was once taught in civics class that they are supposed to be dissolved when that happened, (and I know I’ve read of such a thing taking place in other countries under similar circumstances? ? ?). Over the past 15 years or so, SCOTUS has ruled repeatedly in violation of the Constitution, with their last ruling stating that Article IV is to be ignored on that “illegal search and seizure” thingy! (Recall that in Bush v. Gore, there was no official Florida recount in the presidential election as SCOTUS ruled that American citizens do not have the constitutional right to vote — that was the point The People should have risen, and burned that place to the ground — but in a nation of Zombies . . .)

  • BoLeeBee

    a person so complicit with anti-democratic forces should shuffle off her mortal coil