McCain: The CIA Lied To Congress About American Hostage

220px-john_mccain_official_portrait_with_alternative_backgroundCIASen. John McCain, R-Arizona, was irate this Sunday in declaring that the CIA lied to him and to Congress about a retired FBI agent, Robert Levinson, being held in Iran. However, unlike demands for the jailing of whistleblowers like Edward Snowden for revealing government abuses, McCain notably did not even suggest prosecuting CIA officials who allegedly consistently and repeatedly lied to Congress. No, he suggests that the latest example of false statements to Congress might require a reexamination of congressional oversight. Now that must be chilling for people who could be charged with federal crimes ranging from perjury to obstruction to false statements to federal officers.

I previously wrote a column how our country seems to have developed separate rules for the ruling elite and the rest of us. There is no better example than the lack of response of the Senate to the admitted perjury of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper before Congress. While the Justice Department has prosecuted people for the smallest departure from the truth, including testimony before Congress, no one in the Senate is calling for an investigation, let alone a prosecution, of Clapper. For his part, Attorney General Eric Holder is continuing his political approach to enforcing the law and declining to even acknowledge the admitted perjury of Clapper. Now, in a truly bizarre moment, Clapper has written a letter of apology like an errant schoolboy to excuse his commission of a felony crime . . . and it appears to have been accepted. What is curious is that we do not have letters from senators like Dianne Feinstein apologizing to doing nothing when they were all aware that Clapper was lying in his public testimony. Welcome to America’s Animal Farm.

The greatest irony is that McCain’s outrage is anything should embolden security officials who can rest assured that even if they lie to Congress, the most that they will face is a threat of more oversight by an institution with a laughable record of oversight.

News reports suggest that Levinson may have been on an assignment for the CIA after the government denied such allegations for years. Levinson disappeared in Iran in March 2007 — purportedly on a business trip. The Associated Press has reported that he was a CIA operative. Yet, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, who sits on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, says that the CIA officials may have looked him in the eye and lied. He told CNN “If that’s true, then you put this on top of things that our intelligence committees didn’t know about other activities, which have been revealed by (NSA leaker Edward) Snowden — maybe it means that we should be examining the oversight role of Congress over our different intelligence agencies.” Wow, senators are now citing Snowden’s revelations as a source while demanding that he be hunted down and jailed. However, if CIA officials lied, they could look forward to the Clapper treatment: a choreographed hearing and appointment to a federal commission to review their own conduct.

Source: CNN

32 thoughts on “McCain: The CIA Lied To Congress About American Hostage”

  1. Congress seems to view perjury by government officials as being a “white lie” while everyone else is prosecutable.

  2. “He helped “establish the department’s counter-terrorism and criminal-intelligence bureau.” He also worked on the development of a “threat assessment system” called “Archangel” to protect “critical assets” in Los Angeles from terrorism.”

    I wonder if their use of Archangel was similar to that of Colonel Kurtz’ operation in the movie Apocalypse Now. 🙂

  3. Animal Farm, the book that most of you not so young folks had to read in school; a parable warning about Communism. The better citizens like Snowden understood this parable & ones like it warning of any brand of totalitarian ‘socialism’. Its rather incredible that the powers that be expect one to be selective in which ‘bad guys’ to condemn or give a severe talking to. Anyone in America now lives in this crazy Animal Farm whose rules change day by day, month by month. You will find a degree of nuttiness anywhere, but its nice to be out of the ‘Animal Farm’ for a couple of months.

  4. Maybe they are finally getting a clue…..

    Read that there might be a deal in the works to grant Snowden a reprieve in the US… So long as he does not release more info….. Hmmmm….

    Then I read an article that the state of Michigan will no longer house folks for the US in what’s called indefinite detention….. Yeah… This out of Michigan…..

  5. anon posted, Thanks for the direct link.

    People do not have a way to seek justice from this government. We do not have one functioning branch in sight. The fourth estate is so compromised it is a shadow of the shadow government.

    I fear the words of Kennedy may come true. I am hoping for peaceful banding together of our citizens, because that seems like the only way to hold this govt. and its corporate partners to account.

  6. Jill,

    You’ve probably already seen this:

    NSA-Approved Propaganda: ’60 Minutes’ & the Revolving Door Journalism of John Miller

    By: Kevin Gosztola Monday December 16, 2013 10:12 am


    Nobody quite represents the “revolving door” between journalism and government like Miller. “Full disclosure, I once worked in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence [ODNI] where I saw firsthand how secretly the NSA operates,” he said before the segment began.

    More disclosure: Miller served as spokesperson for the New York Police Department in 1994. The “journalism bug bit him again,” according to Men’s Journal, so he left the NYPD and worked a network job for ABC News. He interviewed Osama bin Laden for ABC News in 1998 before going to work for the Los Angeles Police Department in 2003. He helped “establish the department’s counter-terrorism and criminal-intelligence bureau.” He also worked on the development of a “threat assessment system” called “Archangel” to protect “critical assets” in Los Angeles from terrorism.

    He moved on to work as a public affairs officer for the FBI in 2005. Then, he worked for ODNI. When he grew tired of the bureaucracy at ODNI, he was hired by CBS as a senior correspondent in 2011.

    End of excerpt

    And now Miller may be headed back to NYC and the NYPD:

  7. McCain is a day late and a dollar short, as usual.

    Levinson has been missing for 7 years and the CIA paid his family off with a $2.5 million tax free annuity to stop talking about it and now McCain wants to bring in some oversight? A guy who can be so thoroughly buffaloed by a woman like Palin is not going to be able to implement oversight on anything.

  8. The empire is striking back! McCain is a high ranking member, a lackey, of team oligarchy.

    We already know that “oversight” by Congress is less than meaningless. It is the excuse for the executive branch to engage in unparalleled lawlessness. The executive claims two things in all lawless activities:

    1. we aren’t breaking the law
    2. if we accidentally slip up and do break the law, Congress is there to make us tow the mark, to hold us to account.

    Clearly, both are lies. McCain and his ilk, make possible the law breaking of the executive by turning away from it, by justifying it, by lying and abrogating their own oath of office.

    This elected govt. makes the illegal, “legal”. The three branches collude against the people, against our Constitution. All of them who agree to this are shameful. They should be under indictment.

    Further we have a “press” which furthers the collusion. The fawning, lying 60 mins interview was the result of the NSA approaching CBS. While given access to parts of the NSA, minders were present. (See Greenwald for more info.) That’s the kind of crap people used to complain about in the USSR.

    Obama has his commission on surveillance. McCain has his oversight. These are both processes which allow illegal and destructive activity by the govt./corporations to continue against our people.

  9. Water is wet. Snow is cold. Fire is hot. CIA/NSA lies to Congress.

    Congresscritters, of course, never lie to their constituents.


  10. Professor, There was a nice piece in the Sunday NYT yesterday on your big victory in Utah. One of the only nice aspects of having your morning flight out of LGA cancelled is to sit in your hotel room and read the Sunday paper. I thought you deserved more recognition than the reporter gave you.

  11. The system has become one that handsomely rewards the liar and severely punishes the truth teller. Maybe Clapper and the CIA cabal are following Mark Twain’s advice: “Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.”

  12. It seems that irrespective of officials lying to Congress, lobbyists and other suck-ups lie to Congressmen so much that Congress-folks wind up worse-informed than the average blog reader who uses a wide array of reports coupled with common sense and informed intuition to draw conclusions.

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