One Day after Rolling Out “Comprehensive Review,” Feinstein Proceeds with Mark-Up Anyway

Yesterday, Dianne Feinstein announced, “a total review of all intelligence programs … so that members of the Senate Intelligence Committee are fully informed as to what is actually being carried out by the intelligence community.”

Today, her committee will nevertheless conduct a mark-up of her bill to not fix the spying targeted at Americans.

Umm, given that she just admitted she doesn’t know everything the NSA has been doing — and that she hasn’t been fully informed — don’t you think the comprehensive review should precede the new legislation?

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including Vice, Motherboard, the Nation, the Atlantic, Al Jazeera, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse in Grand Rapids, MI.

13 replies
  1. Dredd says:

    Umm, given that she just admitted she doesn’t know everything the NSA has been doing — and that she hasn’t been fully informed — don’t you think the comprehensive review should precede the new legislation?

    Indeed it should.

    Any good review will show that “the Joint Chiefs created the Armed Forces Security Agency [AFSA in 1949…] … AFSA was redesignated the National Security Agency, without change in personnel, funds, or facilities.”

    No law of congress or executive order of a president was involved in its origin (On The Origin of Security – 4).

    Senator Feinstein, NSA, and White House statements may be nothing more than window dressing.

  2. phred says:

    DiFi’s hissy fit yesterday was bizarre. There is no way of looking at her statement within the context of her work of the last decade and see it as anything other than a PR stunt. The mark up today proves that.

  3. Don Bacon says:

    Looks like DiFi will get ‘marked up.’
    “We recognize there needs to be additional constraints on how we gather and use intelligence,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Monday.

  4. orionATL says:

    the response of the congress and of the executive to the nsa matters seems to be getting more inchoate by the day.

    with respect to feinstein’s behavior throughout the nsa scandal, in my view, she can best be understood as an obama/democratic president loyalist. she can’t be as ignorant as she appears.

    time to whitewash the nsa matter and nail the lid closed on that damned box.

  5. joanneleon says:

    I’m confused about a lot of things but I’m not confused about Dianne Feinstein and what’s going on right now. This is a Church Committee hijack, plain as day. They know there’s going to be a big set of hearings, one way or another and they want to make sure that the intel committees and Obama control it, and whichever trusted hacks from the corporate wing of both parties get selected. This is so obvious.

    Feinstein has no credibility but she’s trying to do a quick pivot, pull out her oversight superhero and her liberal scarf and try to make us forget what she’s done for the past four months, and what she’s not done for however long.

    To be clear, I think the intel community goes out of their way to avoid Congress and get around them but at the same time I don’t think for one bloody minute that the intel committee or the White House and their hacks were kept in the dark either. The executive branch has to be the largest consumer of this intelligence.

    But with this “rogue” (in their eyes) coalition forming and gaining momentum, and a media they’ve declared war on, they are panicking. We’ve got another 9/11 commission in the works, IMHO.

  6. qweryous says:

    Mission accomplished! Now it’s back to business as usual.

    “BERLIN — A pledge by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) to launch a comprehensive Senate Intelligence Committee review of U.S. spying programs drew praise in Germany on Tuesday as some officials here sought to channel outrage over apparent U.S. spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel into diplomacy.”

    ““It makes sense to have a faithful political exchange in order to clear up the current allegations and to restore trust in our U.S. friends and partners,” Mr. Grosse-Brömer said. “I very much welcome that the influential and authoritative U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee will now fully investigate the course of events related to the NSA.””

  7. ok says:

    ” …given that she just admitted she doesn’t know everything the NSA has been doing… ”

    She obviously believes they should continue spying on Americans, so it doesn’t matter.

  8. Greg Bean (@GregLBean) says:

    Over the last few weeks I’ve gone from being thoroughly disgusted to chuckling heartily a couple of times a day.

    The current goings-on are like watching The Keystone Cops. And it’s sure to get funnier with each new episode.

    Thank you Eric Snowden.

  9. Teddy says:

    ‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first – verdict afterwards.’

    ‘Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. ‘The idea of having the sentence first!’

    ‘Hold your tongue!’ said the Queen, turning purple.

    ‘I won’t!’ said Alice.

    ‘Off with her head!’ the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.

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