Where Were These Dems Asking about CIA-on-the-Hudson During Brennan’s Confirmation?

I have always been a huge fan of what Thomas Perez has done in DOJ’s Civil Rights Division. But this sentence, from Adam Serwer’s query on what happened to DOJ’s review of the CIA-on-the-Hudson, ought to give pause.

Since taking office, the special litigation section of the civil rights division has investigated more local police departments for unconstitutional policing than ever before, but never on behalf of American Muslims profiled by law enforcement.

But the rest of Serwer’s piece barely touches a big missed opportunity — and, potentially, an explanation for why DOJ has slow-walked its investigation of the profiling of Muslims in NYC. Serwer notes that Brennan complimented the program, in contrast to Eric Holder’s stated concerns about it.

Although Holder referred to the reports of the NYPD’s actions as “disturbing,” that’s not the view of everyone in the Obama administration. CIA Director John Brennan, formerly a top White House counterterrorism adviser, praised the NYPD’s surveillance program in April 2012. “I have full confidence that the NYPD is doing things consistent with the law, and it’s something that again has been responsible for keeping this city safe over the past decade,” Brennan said.

Brennan is not just the former White House counterterrorism [and homeland security] czar, but he’s also the guy who, when CIA-on-the-Hudson was being set up in the days after 9/11, was in charge of logistics and personnel at the CIA. Which means there’s a pretty decent chance he had a role in dual-hatting the CIA guy who operated domestically to help NYPD spy on Americans.

But Brennan’s role in finding a way to use CIA tactics domestically barely came up in his confirmation hearings. As I noted, he was asked whether he knew about the program (and acknowledged knowing about it), but he was not asked — at least not in any of the public materials — whether he had a role in setting it up.

Sort of a key question for the guy now in charge of the entire CIA, whether he thinks the CIA should find loopholes to get around prohibitions on CIA working domestically, don’t you think?

Serwer names several House Democrats — Rush Holt, Mike Honda, Judy Chu — who have been asking about this investigation. Obviously, they didn’t get a vote on Brennan’s nomination. But it seems the nomination period would have been a very good time to ask questions about how and why, at a time when Brennan played a key role in logistics and personnel at the agency, the government decided to set up this workaround. Asking at that time might have clarified why it is that the Administration seems uninterested in investigating this program.

As it is, we’re now left with a guy who publicly applauded such work-arounds — and CIA involvement through cooperation in fusion centers — in charge of the entire CIA.

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

4 Responses to Where Were These Dems Asking about CIA-on-the-Hudson During Brennan’s Confirmation?

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @StephanieKelton @pkelton Show him one of the little furry Samoyeds. No human can resist. Seriously!
26sreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Kiki, contemplating getting a kind of daughter: http://t.co/VKgoZGauJA
1mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @StephanieKelton @pkelton Trust me, get a Samoyed. You will definitely need one of these http://t.co/2FVyiJTllA but you will never be sorry.
3mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @ghappour: Doc released by Joint Chiefs of Staff argues for controlling offensive cyber ops requiring “national level” approval. http://…
8mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @StephanieKelton Yeah, easy for you to say that, but then they turn into THIS: http://t.co/RmafmOoihx
10mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @bmaz Ohh. Kiki likes be an only steak-eater. (Remind me to tell you abt McC waking us up by pacing bc we forgot to give him steak on table)
11mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Welp, at Casa de bmaz the current discussion is whether or not to get another one of these (yes we already have one): http://t.co/qbvy66kri3
16mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Who will fire and hire a new coach and/or athletic director first, Michigan or Florida? https://t.co/P3QJ6pEWnL
50mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz The Decline and Fall of the Bo Merlot Empire https://t.co/P3QJ6pEWnL A tragic tale about Michigan Men. With music by Mose Allison+Jack Bruce
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @AllThingsHLS: My latest article for @ForeignPolicy on Lone Wolves with links to @intelwire and @dmataconis http://t.co/C1fSGKB1lY
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @ianbremmer: Largest contribution of foreign medical staff to fight Ebola in West Africa: Cuba
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @joshgerstein Murkan ingenuity never ceases to amaze me. Wanna write screen play for Ebola infected terrorists landing rising up, invading?
1hreplyretweetfavorite
April 2013
S M T W T F S
« Mar   May »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930