Quantcast

After Senate Revelations, the CIA Should Be Looking Over its Shoulder | The Nation

  •  
Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Politics, current affairs and riffs and reflections on the news.

After Senate Revelations, the CIA Should Be Looking Over its Shoulder

Senator Dianne Feinstein

Senator Dianne Feinstein is trailed by reporters at the US Capitol in Washington on March 11, 2014. (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

Editor’s Note: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.

For the Central Intelligence Agency’s covert warriors, disdain for the law comes with their mandate. From its drone attacks to its destabilization efforts, the CIA is tasked with operating, as former vice president Dick Cheney put it, “ in the shadows,” trampling international law.

The CIA, shielded by secrecy, armored by its national security mandate, pursues its mission with far too little accountability. The agency’s warriors operate on the president’s writ, but presidents generally seek deniability. After September 11 the agency was given a virtually limitless charter to do things that presidents would rather not know about.

Please support our journalism. Get a digital subscription for just $9.50!

Congress set up intelligence committees to provide oversight of the agency, but senators, while generally happy to get a peek behind the curtain of secrecy, know better than to probe too far.

Editor’s Note: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.

Before commenting, please read our Community Guidelines.