Friday, March 14, 2014

The CIA Reminds Us Who's Boss

The CIA Reminds Us Who's Boss

Getting Feinstein to denounce the CIA is like trying to get Texas Republicans to disown Ted Nugent. As head of the Intelligence Committee, the California Democrat normally defends the spymasters no matter what. But even the longest rope is finite in length, and Feinstein has hit the end of hers.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that, as with everything connected to intelligence and national security, it probably doesn’t matter. Charges will fly, revelations will emerge, people will be outraged, and things will go on as they did before.

Feinstein’s shock stems from her assumption that elected officials exercise the ultimate authority over what our intelligence agencies may do. But that’s an illusion, as Tufts University international law professor Michael Glennon writes in the Harvard National Security Journal.

“Judicial review is negligible; congressional oversight is dysfunctional; and presidential control is nominal,” he argues.