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+1Email 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 @caidid Late night/early mooring Twitter is sparse. Easier for those of us in the west.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @nigelduara @jackgillum Ha! Nope, seriously, this was great work.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @JimDaniielski @TrialDiariesJ @michaelbkiefer a non-DP 1st degree plea, you are a bigger idiot than you seem. That was the "way" referred to
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @JimDaniielski @TrialDiariesJ @michaelbkiefer It was an hour and a half you disingenuous twit, and if you don't think you can get LWOP on...
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @nigelduara @jackgillum Hey, this conversation looks like fun, can I play too? Also, nice work by AP.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @JimDaniielski Why don't you go fuck yourself.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @JimDaniielski @TrialDiariesJ @michaelbkiefer I admitted I made an inadvertent mistake in haste, get over yourself jerk.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @JimDaniielski @TrialDiariesJ @michaelbkiefer I've been practicing criminal law here in AZ for 25+ years. My memory is fine asshole.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @JimDaniielski @TrialDiariesJ @michaelbkiefer Hey jerko, I was in a movie theater and typed something on a phone as the movie was starting.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @trevortimm Maybe, maybe not. That enhanced offense level from 21 to 23. But could have still been sentenced to the 48 months on a level 21
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @prosediva It gets better. It has to!
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @LegallyErin @chrisgeidner Well, you know if they got the local disability judges too... #WhatTheFuckIsWrongInAlabama
4hreplyretweetfavorite
April 2013
S M T W T F S
« Mar   May »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930