Caroline Krass Confirmed as CIA General Counsel in Landslide Vote
In the background of the fight between CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee lurked the nomination of Caroline Krass.
Mark Udall had said that he would hold her nomination to get some answers on the Torture Report.
But she just got confirmed with just a few more no votes –4 — than the 2 she got from the Committee. Dianne Feinstein, Ron Wyden, Martin Heinrich, Mark Udall all voted yes.
This was predictable. As I pointed out the other day, the alternative to quickly confirming Krass was leaving Robert Eatinger — the guy who launched a witch hunt into Committee staffers — Acting Counsel at CIA. Even a mediocre candidate would be preferable to that, for Committee Democrats, and by all reports and appearances Krass is a very sharp and candid lawyer.
That said, in addition to seeking leverage over the Torture Report dispute, Committee members had expressed concern that Krass explicitly endorsed withholding privileged documents from the oversight Committee. So by rushing through Krass’ nomination, the Senate waived any opportunity to obtain some commitment for greater sharing with the Senate.
And thus it happens that, in response to an intolerable situation concocted by Article II, Article I pisses away even more of its authority.
Update: Here’s Udall’s statement on Krass.
Udall, a member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, released his procedural hold today on the nomination of Caroline Krass to be the CIA’s general counsel, citing the conflict of interest of the acting-general counsel, as well as a firm and clear commitment by the president to declassify the committee’s landmark report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program.
“We need to correct the record on the CIA’s coercive detention and interrogation program and declassify the Senate Intelligence Committee’s exhaustive study of it. I released my hold on Caroline Krass’s nomination today and voted for her to help change the direction of the agency,” Udall said. “The president has stated an unequivocal commitment to supporting the declassification of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report. Coloradans expect me to hold him to his word.”
On your earlier thread about Virginia Seitz leaving OLC, I noted that Krass spent 2000-2007 in the fine company of Bradbury, Bybee, and Yoo at OLC, which did not inspire me with confidence. Bmaz replied a couple of comments later:
I’d love to see/hear more about this, but I’m not seeing anything. Over at Lawfare, when she was first nominated, John Bellinger ended a very nuts-and-bolts “here’s the nominee” post with this: “If confirmed, Caroline will be reunited with CIA Director John Brennan and Deputy Director (and former NSC Legal Adviser) Avril Haines.”
Putting the band back together under Brennan is another red flag in my book.
Care to expand on the reports and appearances you’ve seen, Marcy?
Yes, getting the guy who is cited some 1600 times in the as-yet-unpublished SSCI report on torture out of his acting gig as CIA GC is a good thing, but I’m not (yet) sold on Krass being much of a step up.
Krass was the one who told the President there were limits to what he could do in Libya.
I did run across this old post from you in which she figures prominently — and not in a good way.
Right. But when they tried to extend she said they couldn’t. They went ahead anyway. Maybe she should have quit. But we do know that the President went to Libya w/o legal sanction.
Limits in libya? Ghadaffi, aleader of a nation, was attacked by an armed US Droned. I guess the limits were that the video from the Drone could not be put on the Internet.
I am sure this new CIA General Counsel is very sharp. Candid? Defending the thieving criminals, assassins and torturers of the CIA, candid should not be expected.
I would prefer the dumb, knuckledragging types as “General Counsel”, such as Ken Wainstein or former DOJ and current National Review knuckledragger Andrew McCarthy. We can mock them easier. I wonder if Krass helped Vickie Nuland put Nazis in power in the Ukraine. I wonder what the ratfuckers in the CIA call that overthrow of an elected government, maybe “Operation Ukrainian Freedom”.
We can expect that the dee cee sycophants will tell us, that Krass is brilliant and will respect our Constitutional rights. And Krass will threaten them with Microwaves to the brain, if they do not worship her power.
Udall said. “The president has stated an unequivocal commitment to supporting the declassification of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report. Coloradans expect me to hold him to his word.”
Well good luck with that, this presidents commitments seem to start with running out the clock, then to changing the subject – Snowden’s a traitor, followed by his AG Holder tossing the clock down the memory hole. Looking forward (Tm).
Consider the Senate approval of Caroline Krass to be the CIA’s general counsel today in light of the McClatchy report (http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/03/12/221033/despite-vows-of-help-white-house.html) that White House Counsel “Ruemmler and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough paid to Feinstein and the committee’s vice chairman, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., on Tuesday after Feinstein delivered her speech.”
Was a deal struck?
Did Senator Feinstein agree to moving forward on the nomination of Caroline Krass to be the CIA’s general counsel today in return for a White House promise that now CIA general counsel Krass would withdraw the Eatinger criminal referral of the SSCI staffers to the DOJ?
Probably. While I have high hopes that this will move forward meaningfully I suspect that Feinstein sees herself as having done a good thing and will go back to her true role as cheerleader not chairwoman.
Nevertheless now would be the time to push for the USA Freedom Act with calls to all elected officials now before we go back to square one.
This article over at BusinessWeek is off topic, but well worth the read: Missed Alarms and 40 Million Stolen Credit Card Numbers: How Target Blew It – http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-03-13/target-missed-alarms-in-epic-hack-of-credit-card-data
What the Frack! I am not even mentioned at the Great Orange Satan. I am occasionally brilliant. Oh well I will just have to keep trying. Actually GOS banned me for no good reason. What does a person have to do to become an Internet Superstar?
I’m not sure where this unequivocal declassification statement by the President is but what I read, and can’t find just now, he said something more along the lines of it absolutely needs to be declassified WHEN IT IS COMPLETE.
And there is his out.
Does anyone have a link to a truly unequivocal statement?
Just read Marcy’s TI piece and she says, “…while thwarting its completion by withholding privileged documents.”
Confirming that Obama knows he can ensure it is never complete and therefore his “WHEN IT IS COMPLETE” unequivocal statement is rubbish suggesting the report will never be released.
Off topic again – Mashable reports: Tech Companies Reveal National Security Data Requests – http://mashable.com/2014/03/13/tech-companies-national-security-data-requests/
These are from the first 6 months of 2013 and include reports from Verizon, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Tumblr, Microsoft, and AT&T as well as Apple, LinkedIn, Dropbox, and Cloudflare.
“And thus it happens that, in response to an intolerable situation concocted by Article II, Article I pisses away even more of its authority.
Yes, and entirely by itself, without any human causation … whatever.
The president’s unequivocal commitment.
Except these Charlie Brown errors in judgment happen all the time.