In a shockingly public manner, the Senate’s intelligence oversight committee has taken the gloves off in a dispute with the CIA. Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Diane Feinstein (DiFi to us native Californians) went on the floor of the Senate and called out the CIA for various aspects of its misconduct. The bulk of that misconduct still has not been revealed in the form of former CIA Director Leon Panetta’s review of the agency and the Senate’s current review, but the recently disclosed misconduct is enough to potentially trigger a constitutional crisis.
The CIA has been in “it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission” mode for generations now and its misconduct is clearly visible even from the dribs and drabs only occasionally in view: torture, operating drone programs, keeping secrets from Congress, spying upon American citizens, etc.
Some of this might be forgivable if the CIA had been at all competent during this time. Consider a short list of the things the CIA has missed predicting:
• the fall of the Berlin Wall
• the fall of the Soviet Union
• the Russian incursion into Georgia
• the Russian incursion into Crimea/Ukraine (reportedly the CIA told the Senate oversight committee that the likelihood was nil the day before it happened)
and there are many, many more things they could have foreseen but didn’t.
Why we should condone illegal behavior because it provides us with gross incompetence is beyond me. In fact, it calls into question the validity of the organization as currently constituted.