The CIA’s Whitewash Investigation of Itself


Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Weekend Contributor

It is unfortunately not surprising that anything that the CIA does should be considered suspect.  When the CIA recently came under fire for allegedly spying on Senate computers, no one, except the Senators who were spied on were surprised.  Now that Director John Brennan has completed his internal “investigation” into the matter, the truth has come out.  John Brennan says he and the CIA did nothing wrong!

“The outrageous whitewash issued Wednesday by the CIA panel John Brennan hand-picked to lead the investigation into his agency’s spying on Senate staffers is being taken seriously by the elite Washington media, which is solemnly reporting that officials have been “cleared” of any “wrongdoing“.

But what the report really does is provide yet more evidence of Brennan’s extraordinary impunity.

The panel concluded that CIA officials acted reasonably by scouring Senate computer drives in early 2014 when faced with a “potential security breach”. (That “breach” had allowed Senate staffers investigating CIA torture to access, more than three years earlier, a handful of documents Brennan didn’t want them to see.)

But the CIA also released a redacted version of the full report of an earlier investigation by the CIA’s somewhat more independent inspector general’s office. And between the two reports, it is now more clear than ever that Brennan was the prime mover behind a hugely inappropriate assault on the constitutional separation of powers, and continues to get away with it.” Reader Supported News

You may remember John Brennan.  He was President Obama’s Advisor for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security prior to being nominated to head the CIA in 2009.  During his 25 plus years with the CIA prior to being picked by Obama as his counterterrorism aid, Mr. Brennan was involved in and/or supported the CIA torture program.

As suggested earlier, it could be considered the height of hypocrisy for someone who at least supported the Torture program initiated by the Bush Administration, to not only lead the CIA but also handpick a board to review if the CIA had broken its own laws and possibly the law in spying on Senate computers over the release of the controversial torture report.  Especially after the CIA had completed its own review earlier by its Inspector General, David B. Buckley that had stated that the agency employees had gone too far.

“After five CIA employees — two lawyers and three computer specialists — hacked into files and emails belonging to the Committee, Brennan confronted Sen. Feinstein and accused her Committee of breaching the CIA’s firewall and stealing the Panetta Review. CIA Inspector General David Buckley found his agency guilty of hacking into the Committee’s computers and admonished the five CIA employees.” Nation of Change

The Panetta Review was an investigation started by then CIA Director Leon Panetta into the CIA torture activities that was initiated about the time that Panetta first released documents to the Senate committee to investigate the CIA torture program.

“In 2009, former CIA Director Leon Panetta authorized access to millions of documents to then-Committee chairperson, Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Documenting the CIA’s Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation (RDI) program between the years 2001—2006, the reports gave a damning account of kidnapping, torture, and murder committed by CIA operatives. At the same time, Panetta ordered the CIA to conduct its own investigation into the documents, now referred to as the Panetta Review.

Over 1,000 pages in length, the Panetta Review found that the CIA had repeatedly overstated the value of intelligence gained through torture. Unbeknownst to CIA Director John Brennan, the Senate Intelligence Committee had access to the classified Panetta Review.” Nation of Change

The Panetta Review and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report both confirm that the CIA torture program not only broke US laws, it even went farther than the Bush Administration had authorized.  When the Senate report was released in December of last year, Mr. Brennan went so far as to suggest that any future efforts to institute another torture program would be up to policy makers!

“Indeed, when Brennan made his first public appearance after the Senate torture report came out, he was unbowed – in fact, actually appeared emboldened. (He also validated the worst fears of torture opponents by saying that the return of torture tactics was a matter for “future policymakers”.)’ Reader Supported News

To make matters worse, the new chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee is now demanding all copies of the legally released torture report be returned to the Senate Committee.

“Because the CIA has blocked the Panetta Review’s release under FOIA, Sen. Burr intends to return every copy to the agency in order to suppress the information contained within the inflammatory review. As the new Chairman of the Committee, Burr also wrote letters to the White House and other federal agencies insisting they return all copies of the roughly 6,900-page Senate report on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program. Since executive branch agencies are obligated to respond to FOIA requests, Burr wants the copies of the torture report returned to Congress, which is not subject to such requests.” Nation of Change

Remind me again, why are we supposed to believe anything John Brennan or his CIA says?  Maybe Mr. Brennan thinks he is the Wizard behind the curtain and no one can see his deception. However, I think Toto can see right through him!


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81 thoughts on “The CIA’s Whitewash Investigation of Itself”

  1. Isn’t there a basis to believe that by secrecy and immunity that CIA, like the KGB, has become 4th ( and controlling) branch of government?

  2. Not sure what this discussion thread has to do with the Florida Keys…..citizensnotserfs……or is there another site as well. In any case, if all of this was “highjacked,” for another’s purpose….I’m not particularly comfortable with that ethic. Granted, don’t write anything that you wouldn’t want in the “Times” the next morning. Hmmmm.

    1. Just click on her blog Canon, she didn’t write anything and your comments are closed. It’s just the article.

    2. The CIA’s Whitewash Investigation of Itself

      28 Wednesday Jan 2015

      Posted by prayerwarriorpsychicnot in Uncategorized

      ≈ Leave a comment

      Originally posted on JONATHAN TURLEY:


      Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Weekend Contributor

      It is unfortunately not surprising that anything that the CIA does should be considered suspect. When the CIA recently came under fire for allegedly spying on Senate computers, no one, except the Senators who were spied on were surprised. Now that Director John Brennan has completed his internal “investigation” into the matter, the truth has come out. John Brennan says he and the CIA did nothing wrong!

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  3. Canon for Veterans Ministry said …

    Hi Aridog,….A correction if I may. In 1972 we had not yet left RVN to its own devices…

    Correction accepted, your details are correct. I was glossing over the period 1972-1975 and that was a mistake. By 1972 however, we had as much inharmonious attitude within our ranks on the ground than cohesion could remedy in most cases, and our ground fighting forces were being withdrawn rapidly. It is’t hard for me to understand why a few of my ex-RVN compatriots felt abandoned and betrayed. True enough, we did what we could still do after 1972, and the RVN weren’t up to the task of winning either.

    I agree with your correction and the rest of your post. I have read Gen Giap’s (oft revised) memoirs….at least as translated in to English. Never got past pig-din Vietnamese, and maybe 3rd grader level for Korean, which was necessary at least to try when around ROK Marines as I was. As for Kissinger, I agree he did accomplish some good things, but I just lean toward what my ex-RVN soldier & sailor friends feel about him. I do remember the brokering of the China opening, and at that time I thought: “Well I’ll be danged, we finally did something sane.”

    That said, I had voted for two “peace candidates” in opposing parties and neither did squat to end anything resolutely. All the “peaceniks” of that era had one gapping hole in their theory…they had no idea how terrorism works, and the Viet Minh, first, followed by the NLF and the PAVN did….they terrorized their own people and destroyed any opposition. Then they fought us. Pretty much like the terrorists of today…all joined at the hip, with each fighting to dominate the others otherwise.

    I doubt we’ve learned one thing…but I’d like to hope that we can.

  4. Paul C …. I can’t fault Gen Westmoreland’s command, because I was never anywhere near him back then (I enlisted in 1968 after Gen Abrams took over) however Westmoreland had to dance to Robert (“Blowtorch Bob”) Komer’s machinations…from the White House. Between Komer and McNamara, he had little real policy input IMO. Westmoreland had plenty of support, but with Komer’s directions, he paid a price….and lost much of it. No matter, by 1972 we were departing en mass and the RVN’s left to their own devices with irregular support from the USA. Kissinger is the man criticized by many for his role in Paris and the peace accords that left the PAVN in control more or less. I do understand my RVN counter parts’ opinions.

    1. Hi Aridog,

      A correction if I may. In 1972 we had not yet left RVN to its own devices. The North’s Spring Offensive was answered with massive B-52 strikes and I was on a ship in the largest gathering of combatant ships (carrier groups and amphibious readiness groups) since WWII. We were the primary control ship for an amphibious feint north of Hue. The operation drew the NVA off a besieged area to the south. We were off the beach and about 3000 yds from the detonations coming from a 3 plane B-52 strike which preceded the feint….waves of ARVN in our Amphib tracks which turned away (the feint) as planned.

      It was in 1973 that things started to fall apart. BTW, it was Congress who wrote language in a bill which shut off all money for combat support.

      To reiterate my other posts. We won TET 1968 but lost to Cronkite’s broadcast. NVN Gen. Giap had considered the Viet Cong’s efforts a total failure, which it was, until Papa Walter’s broadcast decrying the picture of the Saigon Sheriffs summary execution of a terrorist during the battle; and told the world that we lost. Then there’s MacNamara as SECDEF who would not let us do what Nixon later authorized …unleash hell on the North.

      It was clear that America lost the will and Nixon got us out but he too played nice too many times…letting up, truces, so that Ho and Giap could consider and come to the table. Being NICE during war? Schwarzkopf and company learned … Gulf War hard fast utter destruction. Notice that we did not mow down troops who wanted to quit. There is where our principles were displayed.

      Lest Kissenger continues to get pilloried by some, remember he was the architect of the opening of China DURING the VN War. Oh yes he was also responsible for the policies for keep legitimate leaders in post-war Germany, even though they were Nazi affiliates. With only a few exceptions, an exceptional success story. Principle forgotten in Iraq with disasterous results.

  5. I need to add that it is far more than the CIA that acts behind closed doors. The RVN military veterans, who escaped to the USA by various routes, that I still am in periodic touch with, seem to view Henry Kissinger as the worst we had at the time…they felt he betrayed them and didn’t serve their best interests. They merely presumed Komer to be an idiot for his sundry plans, such as the “Strategic Hamlets” program. I by far favored USMC LTG Victor Krulak’s ideas.

    1. Aridog – all governments work behind closed doors. Governments can be amoral and immoral, but never moral. I am not happy about Vietnam. I think Walter Cronkite should have been arrested as a traitor and the fact that my university has named their journalism school after him has forced me to quit donating money to them. However, I do not think Kissinger (of whom I am not a fan) is the worst we had at the time. I supported Westmoreland, however no one else seemed to.

  6. Back directly on topic, I again need to recuse myself due to my personal bias. I do know that the CIA has been involved in some dicey and downright illicit acts, but I’ll just let Canon for Veterans Ministry say what he said and understand it. Anyone remembering things I said at TOP and perhaps at Lem’s and here as well knows I thought of John Brennan as Obama’s Robert Komer. Now the atypical Komer I knew was way off base, but Brennan seemed more typical….and both operated out of the White House for long periods of time. I am sure he knew what was gong on at Benghazi, in the consulate and the annexes (a de rigueur CIA feature near embassies or consulates)…before the rioting and subsequent disaster. I am not sure I want or need to know the details he has, above and beyond anything Sec. Clinton knew at the time. I can’t blame him for protecting himself and those who work for him, before and after his CIA appointment. As a military “fed” for a long time I noticed even more egregious things…similar to the contracting shenanigans cited on an earlier post here vis a vis CGI.

  7. Canon for Veterans Ministry said …

    My grandmother was convinced that if Blacks washed the rest of their bodies as much as their hands, ……you get the picture. It didn’t make sense to me but it was a common held societal belief.

    Good grief, I naively though I might be the only one to have heard such opinions expressed, albeit long ago. But, yep, I sat reading a book while some friends of my mother’s said almost exactly the same things. It was all I could do not to jump up and yell at them. Since that would only have embarrassed my mother, I kept quiet…I doubt a early 20 something ranting would have changed those opinions…opinions my mother did not share and said so. Still it was a strange feeling to sit and hear that theory posed. It rivaled my first road trip through the south at 18 when I discovered Jim Crow and all its segregated amenities….everywhere from Memphis to Pompano Beach.

    Fortunately for me, thanks to my parents, I grew up in a mixed racial and ethnic environment. I still up to that southern trip didn’t fully understand what southern segregation meant…and afterwards I never forgot it. I had an aunt who taught literature, English, & drama in high school. Every summer she took a long trip some where, sometimes via room & board accommodations on a freighter. Her collection of friends covered too many ethnicities to count, even managing to kept in contact when some emigrated to the USA. Every other summer was a trip to the “Holy Lands” and the other years all over the place from India to Europe to Asia. Once retired she didn’t stop traveling … and her insistence that seeing different peoples was an opportunity to learn more…just let curiosity over come any anxiety. Aunt “Liddy” no doubt shaped a lot of my thinking….starting young when she was the go-to baby sitter when my parents traveled.

    She was an avid reader as well, and introduced me to Rudyard Kipling … and when she passed away she left me her 2nd edition of his entire works. I dearly loved “Liddy” and regret that our last conversation was when she called me from Tan Son Nhut Airbase in Vietnam (during an emergency stopover flying from Thailand to Japan) on a US Army Class A line she persuaded someone to let her use…she was trying to find out if we could meet up…which wasn’t possible at that time. I was never anywhere near Saigon at any time. Still her call alone was uplifting….”Liddy” always was that. No doubt in my military mind that things I learned from “Liddy” about different peoples and places saved my life. May may forever RIP.

  8. Barabajagal

    In your note you write:

    “I feel it is societies role to support the best of human nature and promote civility and fairness.”

    A quick response…. Whose “society”? Who defines ” human nature?” What does “promote” connote? As for the aforementioned and civility and fairness, Jim Crow met all the criteria for a period of time.

    For awhile as a youngster, I didn’t see a problem. The only Black person I remember knowing was the shoeshine man in the barbershop in Glasgow MT. The three day to day restaurants were owned by Chinese. All the Great Northern stewards were Black men. My grandmother was convinced that if Blacks washed the rest of their bodies as much as their hands, ……you get the picture. It didn’t make sense to me but it was a common held societal belief.

  9. To: Canon for Veterans Ministry

    Thank you for presenting your views. I do not find it surprising that a clergy of the Military would support the CIA. I am disappointed that you would. IMO the CIA has poorly performed. It has proven to be a difficult agency of our federal executive branch to control or reform.

    “Life is extremely dirty out there.” I agree. I do not understand why it presents a large conundrum to those dedicated to the gospel. I am truly sorry that in your life time you have been exposed to so much trama. Human nature does include many elements. Not all aspects are negative. I feel it is societies role to support the best of human nature and promote civility and fairness. I am disappointed when the negative aspects of human nature are supported and approved of by my elected officials and employees.

    1. barabajagal – The CIA does not need to either be reformed or controlled, both would impede its important task. However, it does need careful leadership. Lead and we shall but follow.

    2. barabajagal

      My husband was in the Vietnam War as a Navy SEAL who did recon with the Marines. I find it interesting that you can pass judgement on the Canon in such a disparaging way and know so much about the decisions that have kept our country free.

      Certainly I know all of the propaganda and have fallen prey to it myself that our country is driven by nothing but greed and avarice. I suggest that you study the good that we do for these people when we are overseas also. You notice he is a Canon and he tried to show the “reality of idealism slamming up against reality”

      As I said to Isaac, I am sure you are a supporter of President Obama, you should study how much the CIA had to do with the capture of the Osama and the intricate workings of the thugs in the ISI since 1947 which was when they were formed.

      To make an uniformed remark based on propaganda and to try to twist the Canons words and the CIA’s motives the way you just did is rather despicable.

  10. Gigi De La Paz

    “…Torture program initiated by the Bush Administration, ” Really? Do you mean to say that there wasn’t any torture programs prior to the Bush Administration? Please stop being so naive.
    As for Brennan being deceiving, he probably is and he fits perfectly in the same company as his boss, Obama.

    Here here

    well said.

  11. Tyger,

    You raise good points. But, which laws? Whose ideals? I will defend our country against all enemies foreign and domestic and obey the lawful orders of etc, etc. I’m still “in” as a retired naval service person. However, reality often slams up against ideals. The problem with ideals is that they seldom fully inculcate reality. Humanity is not homogeneous …..ideals are different, even between American households.

    Is theft of food a crime when your child is starving? Or is the community -the neighbor- “criminal” for letting it get to that point? Thou shall not steal? Love your neighbor as yourself?

    One of my worst case historical examples of an idealism (at least as bought into by a citizenry): mentally disabled and physically deformed people are prisoners in their bodies, and the humane act is to free them of that prison. Movie shorts are shown throughout the country and the killing began….Germany before WWII. An atrocity (killing ones own) which built up to the cleansing the country of Jew, gypsies, gays and other ” undesirables.”

    In other countries…”reeducation” (with disappearances) is a popular method of achieving an ideal. Or Pol Pot’s effort to cleans away western contamination…Cambodia. After suffering from the ravages of the Viet Nam war of “Western aggression”, weren’t the Khmer Rouge entitled to cleanse themselves of Western influence in order to achieve a different ideal? I think not. Covert CIA help helped facilitate (now Ho’s) Vietnamese incursion to stop the slaughter.

    ISIS leaders are, in my opinion, absolutely convinced they have the ideal. They are convinced their cause is just. By most other standards (including mine), they are heinous criminals and deserve immediate extermination. But what about trials? Germans and Japanese got theirs. The Hague subsequently convened others.

    The short of it…where is the line between the ideal and reality? When is it ever stable?

  12. “…Torture program initiated by the Bush Administration, ” Really? Do you mean to say that there wasn’t any torture programs prior to the Bush Administration? Please stop being so naive.
    As for Brennan being deceiving, he probably is and he fits perfectly in the same company as his boss, Obama.

  13. What do CIA Director John Brennan, select members of 107th through 113th US Congress have in common?

    They’re war criminals that have publicly abdicated their oaths of office on repeated occasions.

    1. Personanongrata – people throw this ‘war criminal’ charge around pretty freely. Would you like to back up your charge with actual evidence?

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