The Outrageous and Criminal Cover-Up By Obama and the CIA

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Imagine you commit a heinous crime. Then imagine that, once facing charges in court, you’re allowed to withhold incriminating evidence brought forth by the prosecutors, keeping the jury in the dark about the details of your lawbreaking. Further, imagine you commit more crimes while on trial and imagine the judge enables and covers up these additional offenses.

Who would call this a fair trial? Clearly, it’s nothing but a mockery of the rule of law.

But that’s essentially how the Senate investigation into the CIA’s Bush-era torture program has proceeded and the chaos seemed to have hit its zenith with Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s testimony on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday. She accused the CIA of violating formal agreements with the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating its torture program, and of violating “the Fourth Amendment, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as Executive Order 12333, which prohibits the C.I.A. from conducting domestic searches or surveillance.”

The story she told is appalling, but it is also convoluted. Below is a short-list of things that stuck out to me.

  • Since 2006, the CIA has continually misled the Senate committee about the extent and severity of the torture and interrogation program in an attempt to hide from public view torture methods employed that were “far different and far more harsh” than what had already been reported in the newspapers.
  • In response to the Senate committee’s demands to access classified material documenting CIA torture and interrogation, the CIA insisted that investigators only be allowed to view the documents in a secure facility on secure computers chosen by the CIA. The CIA later hacked into the committee’s independent computer network to spy on the investigators’ activities.
  • In sifting through millions of documents the CIA was compelled to provide on this supposedly secure network, Committee investigators came across an internal CIA review conducted in Obama’s first term while Leon Panetta was CIA director. This internal review concluded, among other things, that crimes had indeed been committed and that the torture did not produce valuable intelligence. These conclusions were consistent with those in the still-classified 6,300 page Senate report, but contradicted the CIA’s official public appraisal of the Senate report, which was that it was factually incorrect and contained fundamental judgement errors. This public position on the report, revealed to be spurious by the Panetta review, has been the basis for its continued classified status.
  • At some point in the Senate committee’s investigation of these documents, the CIA quietly removed about 1,000 pages of documents from the collection that had been previously provided. When the staff noticed this, they demanded to know why this was done. The CIA initially alleged that the computer technicians must have done it on their own, then they claimed the White House ordered it done. When the Committee asked the White House about it, they denied giving such an order.
  • The CIA had apparently intended to hide the Panetta review from Senate investigators, but perhaps inadvertently included it in the “document-dump” provided to the committee staff. Upon realizing the Panetta review was revealed to Senate investigators, the CIA started to spy on the committee staff and the CIA’s general counsel – who played an important part in the torture program and who is “mentioned by name more than 1,600 times in our study” – told the Department of Justice that Senate staff had committed a crime by reading the Panetta review. Feinstein said she believes this was an attempt both to protect himself and to “intimidate” the Senate committee.

Throughout all of this, President Obama has been almost completely silent – at least publicly. Behind the scenes, it seems clear he has colluded with the CIA in its implacable campaign to obstruct justice and keep crimes of the highest order from being revealed to the public. This collusion goes back a long way, in fact back to Obama’s first days as president in which he refused to initiate an investigation of his own into the torture and interrogation program, swearing off any pursuit of accountability for Bush-era crimes with the ludicrous missive “looking forward not backward.”

President Obama, for his part, is going even beyond the CIA’s flagrant attempt to cover up its crimes. According to McClatchy, “The White House has been withholding for five years more than 9,000 top-secret documents sought by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for its investigation into the now-defunct CIA detention and interrogation program.”

Notably, these 9,000 documents “are separate” from any of the 6.2 million documents provided to the Senate committee investigators by the CIA in those supposedly secure facilities. These are documents that are apparently regarded as even more revealing and incriminating than the millions the CIA has already been compelled to provide, raising questions about just how extreme the content of them are. When you add this to Obama’s refusal to declassify the Senate’s 6,300 page report, it is simply disgraceful.

“These documents certainly raise the specter that the White House has been involved in stonewalling the investigation,” Elizabeth Goitein of the NYU Law School’s Brennan Center for Justice told McClatchy.

John Brennan, the current CIA director and close confidant of President Obama, has denied the testimony from Feinstein unequivocally. He said, “Nothing could be further from the truth. We wouldn’t do that.” My personal opinion when I view the video of his denial is that he is shamelessly lying, and rather obviously so. You’d think the CIA director would be able to do it better.

Anything less than the full and complete disclosure of all the relevant documents is unacceptable.

22 thoughts on “The Outrageous and Criminal Cover-Up By Obama and the CIA”

  1. Another interesting point that is being ignored by everyone, even John Stewart: instead of just giving the Senate Committee the documents, they hired a "contractor" go do it. Who is the contractor, and why is it okay for them to see the documents but not the Committee Chair? My guess is the contractor is one of cheney's pals.

  2. Didn't JFK want to disband the CIA back in 1963? One of many supposed reasons for his assassination.

  3. I haven't been this upset since I found out Bill Clinton lied about getting blown by White House interns…

    Why haven't impeachment proceedings already begun?

  4. The majority of American people were fooled by Obama, he simply lied to all of them, what els did you expect him to do, follow up on his promise? Which president have kept his processes, so why should Obama be different.

  5. NSA was created for such day when USG wants to have war with Russia over Ukraine, or every other place that USG sees that governments cooperating with Russia and China or even their neighbors, like, Iran, Iraq and Syria, like Venezuela with other South American nation, in Africa and South Pacific and etc.

    CIA and state department, that is to say if state department is not part of CIA and or NSA is part of state department and CIA or vis a versa, these agencies was permitted by Obama to expend their round the world operations as Hillary Clinton began with Libya and Syria and etc. All these operations, in their substance historically been criminal acts, but for now all are based on favoritism to Saudis to Neo fascism in EU and in Ukraine to South America oligarchs and etc.

  6. As John F. Kennedy was going to do…the CIA must be disbanded! This is the organization that is responsible for so many nations past and present that are in total disarray. The blood of millions are on the hands of these traitors to our Supreme Law of the Land our Constitution and Bill of Rights. We as a nation are hated by the World because of this out of control organization that is doing the biding of the Elite Corporations and International Bankers (current example the UKRAINE for the alleged U.S. (p)resident and his puppet masters)! The CIA is not in the business of Nation Building but Nation Destruction for territory, natural resources and control of that nations economy for the International Bankers! It is truly amazing how bureaucratic traitors to our Constitutional Republic, Senator D. Feinstein (total hypocrite) and her close colleagues will use our precious document when it only benefits her/them, un-friendly's of America. I consider Bush 41, Clinton's, Bush 43 and Obama all guilty of war crimes. These 2 presidents Bush 41, Clinton's and alleged (p)residents Bush 43 and Obama including their Administrations must be brought to justice for the torture, murders, destruction and Constitutional violations, they are solely responsible for. I have never seen so many war mongers within our government. John McCain the Angel of Death, must be removed.

  7. Not only is the CIA involved in the practice of torture but also of remaining silent about the fact that their allies in Afghanistan (the Northern Alliance) are guilty of the most horrendous crimes such as forcing POWs to eat the flesh of their dead. This is the gang that worked with the Soviets from 1979-1989 and currently serve as force-multiplier with the U.S.-led NATO forces. There are many more additional horror stories about their acts of barbarity. They are as horrible and inhumane as the devil's mind can possibly conceive. It is far worse than the any movie production or novel on torturous regimes than one has seen or could possibly imagine..

  8. Obama is unbelievable, he is an outright thug no respectability. He isn't even a United States citizen and that is why he has kept his college records sealed because he got aid for being a foreign student. Probably because he never took the time in getting his citizenship back from when he was a child living in Indonesia with his Mother and Step Father. He probably never imagined having a shot as president and put off getting the paperwork of citizenship . He broke the law by running for president when he did not meet the legal requirements and the first day he stepped in the White House not being legally he committed the crime of the century, the Usurpation of the Presidency of the U.S. which is treason on this country. He is the biggest criminal that ever lived in our White House. He is a indicted war criminal, blatantly breaks his oath of office weekly with spying on American citizens and collecting all our communication data, to bribe or threaten us with later , he has theI RS go after his dissenters (that is unlawful to the max) . I want to see this a hole behind bars.

  9. This was a real chance at using diplomacy to stave off U.S. intervention that is almost universally opposed and would very likely worsen the humanitarian situation in Syria without any additional utility.

  10. As long as we're relying on CIA torturers to explain what they've done, we're never going to get anywhere. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for a massive leak of torture memos … the CIA will never be open about their war crimes. Somebody is going to have to steal the information from them, and release it to the public.

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  15. Our country is on a path of self destruction, The Washington establishment has lost their moral compass, their crime and corruption is cover-up with lies and deception, their collusion with the corporate news media made the news media their propaganda machinery that deceive the people of this country to the point that most Americans have lost their trust in our government and the news media. The time has come for a complete change in our government to secure our freedom and Liberty. We must connect with the many free loving American organization and commit to change this corrupt establishment puppets of the oligarchs. Our real enemy it’s not the muslin world; it is our own government. 9/11 was an inside job done by the Bush administration to legitimate the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. This is what really created the so call terrorist in the Middle East. If defending one’s country is terrorism; soon will have American’s terrorist; because the people of this country is fed-up with this corrupt government economic oppression, the demise of their constitutional rights and the abuse of power done by this administration and the police force of this country that in violation of the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution kill Americans without any justification and use our laws to arrest, prosecute and use the poor, blacks and Latinos as slaves in our prisons, working for corporate America for pennies. The corporate news media fail the American people,
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