Stop Letting the CIA Lie with Impunity

In Columns, Nation, Politics
Stop Letting the CIA Lie with Impunity
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When it comes to our government, agencies of our government, or officials who work within our government, there is one simple rule that all parties need to abide by, that if you do not I will make a personal note of it, or in some cases, write about it, and express my absolute displeasure about it. That one simple rule is: do not lie to me.

This is especially true for those who work in areas concerning the national security of our nation. If I cannot trust them because they have provably lied to me, how do they ever expect me to believe them when they tell me something that might actually be true?

It so happens that I have been lied to, as have all Americans, and just recently, in fact.

While speaking on CBS News regarding the CIA documents released by WikiLeaks last week concerning the CIA’s hacking tools and abilities, the former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Michael Morell, who now apparently acts as a “senior security contributor” to CBS News, indicated that the American people need not be concerned about being spied upon by the CIA through their computers, cell phones, and various other electronic devices because, he said, “The CIA focuses its activities overseas. It focuses its activities on foreign nationals. The CIA is not permitted by law to target Americans. So Americans should not worry about this. Just the opposite — they should actually be proud that their intelligence agency has developed these capabilities to collect intelligence on our adversaries who are trying to undermine our security and to, in some cases, kill Americans. So I think that’s how the average American should think about it.”

This statement by Morrell echoes precisely what the CIA itself said in its own statement on the subject of WikiLeaks and the CIA document release. In their statement, they indicated that though they will not comment on the matter directly, there were some points they wanted to make, one of the first being that the “CIA’s mission is to aggressively collect foreign intelligence overseas.”

In addition, the CIA statement continues, “It is also important to note that CIA is legally prohibited from conducting electronic surveillance targeting individuals here at home, including our fellow Americans, and CIA does not do so. CIA’s activities are subject to rigorous oversight to ensure that they comply fully with U.S. law and the Constitution.”

The lie comes into focus when one accepts the fact that the CIA actively spied on staffers of the U.S. Senate who were investigating the CIA torture program that was active under the Bush administration.

As reported in The Hill, “CIA officials improperly hacked the Senate Intelligence Committee’s computers as staffers compiled a report on “enhanced interrogation” techniques, the spy agency’s inspector general has concluded.”

This fact that the CIA did spy on the staffers was revealed after CIA director John Brennan spent his time defending the CIA against those same charges, saying at the time, “We wouldn’t do that. That’s just beyond the scope of reason in terms of what we’d do.”

In other words, he lied too. Unless we are to believe he was actually duped by subordinates choosing to go rogue, which would have then only made him look incompetent as the head of the CIA at the time. Even though Brennan would later apologize for the violations, it’s a detrimental situation all-around.

The only viable conclusion that any reasonable-minded individual can walk away from this with is that the CIA does not focus its activities solely overseas, that it does, in fact, engage in illegal and unconstitutional electronic spying of American citizens right here within our own borders, and that any statement to the contrary is an outright lie.

Not only that, but they clearly have no problem with doing so even against those in the U.S. Senate who are engaged with the task of investigating them for potential wrongdoing or illegalities – even after noting that doing so is against the law.

This should be extraordinarily worrisome for all Americans and our elected leadership and should be duly addressed without haste. What is being done to ensure that the CIA is unquestionably being reigned in from further actions on US soil?

When former deputy director of the CIA, Michael Morell, tells us “Americans should not worry about this,” you damn well better be worried about this.

WikiLeaks exposed the extent to which the CIA has gone to subvert all of our computers, cell phones, “smart” televisions, automobiles, and more, far beyond anything we knew before, taking what we know the National Security Agency already does illegally, and adding onto it with even more nefarious skill sets.

These are people who lie for a living. They lie to all of us and lie to our congress with impunity. Since that is the case, why should you or I ever again take anyone from the CIA, whether they are active or former employees, at their word about anything ever again?

Perhaps someone out there could send Morell, Brennan, and the CIA a complimentary copy of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. I believe there is a lesson in it somewhere that might be of use to them.

In this case, it’s only a matter of national security. And that is no lie.

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