Public servants acting as public masters

CIA responded to Obama’s acquiescence when it spied on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds
USA Today

“Nothing could be further from the truth. I mean, we wouldn’t do that.” That was CIA Director John Brennan’s answer in March when Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., charged the CIA with breaking into computers used by Senate investigators looking into CIA misconduct.

It turns out that the CIA would do that — and, in fact, had done so. Brennan’s reassurances were false, and CIA spooks had been hacking into the committee investigators’ computers looking for documents they thought the investigators shouldn’t have, violating a promise not to. So, first Brennan broke a promise. Then, he either lied, or showed that he doesn’t control his own agency, which in many ways would be worse…

…Call me old-fashioned, but I believe that people respond to incentives: If spying on, and lying to, Congress is dangerous, and the results of being caught unpleasant, then there will be less of it. If, on the other hand, the worst risk is a slap on the wrist and a seven-figure career in the private sector, then I suspect we’ll see more of this kind of bad behavior…

…The sad truth is that when you elect irresponsible people into positions of power, you get irresponsible government. President Obama oozes contempt for Congress, and for longstanding unwritten political accommodations among the branches, at every opportunity. It’s unsurprising that his underlings feel — and act — consistently with that view…



Read the entire editorial at USA Today.

Related: ‘Some Think They’re Royalty’: GOP Rep Details Heated Exchange With Pelosi (video)

…”I’m not going to put up with this. I don’t talk to people like this. My father told me to be a gentleman. I was a gentleman during this whole incident. There are some people in Congress that think they are royalty and I’m having one of the wealthiest people in Congress say that I’m inconsequential and I’m not important. But that comment was made, not only to me, but it was made to my constituents and the middle class, hard-working people across the United States,” he said.

A spokesperson for Pelosi later said that the minority leader accepted Marino’s apology, but Marino denied ever offering an apology.

Marino concluded by calling the whole thing a “a prime example of why we need term limits.”…


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