August 04, 2014
Who’s In Charge Here?

So now that John Brennan has admitted that he lied about CIA spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee as the committee prepared its report on Bush-era torture, his denials and denunciations of his accusers at the time are in retrospect even more clearly self-serving and dishonest. But Obama won’t fire him because he’s afraid of the consequences. Brennan knows where the bodies were buried, which drones killed them, and when Obama ordered those drone strikes.

Whatever happens with the [torture] report itself and despite the recent CIA apology, don’t expect the Senate to bring perjury charges against former CIA leaders for any lies to Congress. (It didn’t do so, after all, in the earlier case of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.) And don’t expect prosecutions of significant figures from a Justice Department that, in the Obama years, refused to prosecute even those in the CIA responsible for the deaths of prisoners.

The fact is that, for the Fourth Branch, this remains the age of impunity. Hidden in a veil of secrecy, bolstered by secret law and secret courts, surrounded by its chosen corporations and politicians, its power to define policy and act as it sees fit in the name of American safety is visibly on the rise. No matter what setbacks it experiences along the way, its urge to expand and control seems, at the moment, beyond staunching. In the context of the Senate’s torture report, the question at hand remains: Who rules Washington?



Posted by Chuck Dupree at August 04, 2014 01:43 AM
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The immune

To consequences.

Posted by: Cirze on August 4, 2014 4:11 PM

I think the national-security "fourth branch" has been increasingly in charge of things ever since Truman signed off on creating it.

Posted by: Tim on August 5, 2014 11:34 AM

I agree, Tim. Truman later said he wouldn't have signed the bill if he realized what it would lead to, but that's exactly the point---it was his job to realize that.

Posted by: Chuck Dupree on August 6, 2014 12:47 AM

Who rules Washington? It's called an oligarchy.

Posted by: Peter on August 8, 2014 6:12 AM
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