A faithful reader writes:
“A select congressional committee launched a vast investigation into issues of historic importance and constitutional scope. The committee necessarily relied on the CIA for crucial information. The committee published a massively documented report. The report is, in part, was critical of the performance of the agency. Subsequently, the committee learned that it had become the target of an intelligence operation by the agency during its investigation.”
“So the burgeoning scandal of the CIA’s operation against the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI )i is beginning to unfold.
[Have we seen this movie before]
“When [G. Robert Blakey], the former Chief Counsel for the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), stated publicly years ago that the same agency had engaged in deceptive practices aimed at the HSCA during its investigation in the late 1970s, where was the outrage and action by the Congress that had been targeted?
“(The HSCA had been long ago dissolved by the time the intelligence operation against it was uncovered.)
“Blakey, now emeritus professor of law, has suggested that significant investigative issues and, potentially, conclusions of the HSCA could have been compromised by the CIA’s actions.
Same as it ever was
“As a recent article by the NY Times about the current flap phrased it:
“The extraordinary battle [between the SSCI and the CIA] has created an unprecedented breakdown in relations between the spy agency and its congressional overseers and raises significant implications for the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches.”
“Will this new breach of the separation of powers be swept under the carpet?
“The Senate Committee is now asking how the CIA learned that committee staffers obtained access to the internal CIA report. It appears to the SSCI that the CIA conducted some form of surveillance on the committee (i.e., gathered intelligence on the SSCI’s investigation).
“Let’s hope all of this gets sorted out in public.
“Is the CIA prohibited from conducting ANY operations on US soil (setting aside how exceptions for terrorist acts by foreigners), much less against a Senate committee?
“If the CIA has a concerned about a “security breach,” should the CIA be required to ask the Justice Department whether a subpoena may be issued to investigate the Senate?
“The confrontation between the SSCI and CIA is a current symptom of concerns that were expressed when the CIA was founded, and reiterated by former President Harry Truman on December 22, 1963.