Tags: NSA/Surveillance | Diane Feinstein | Edward Snowden | NSA | CIA | spy

Snowden Calls Feinstein Hypocrite on CIA Spying

Image: Snowden Calls Feinstein Hypocrite on CIA Spying

By Drew MacKenzie   |   Tuesday, 11 Mar 2014 02:54 PM

Fugitive NSA leaker Edward Snowden has slammed Sen. Dianne Feinstein for hypocrisy over her attack on the CIA’s alleged spying on a Senate investigation while the government is allowed to spy on millions of American citizens, NBC News reported.

The Senate Intelligence Committee chairman has claimed that the CIA searched a congressional computer network, potentially violating the Fourth Amendment, as well as the separation of powers between the branches of government.

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Feinstein, a California Democrat, alleged that the CIA hacked into supposedly secure computers the agency had provided to committee staffers who were investigating the agency's interrogation and detention program and removed hundreds of pages of documents.

"It's clear the CIA was trying to play 'keep away' with documents relevant to an investigation by their overseers in Congress, and that's a serious constitutional concern," Snowden told NBC News. "But it's equally if not more concerning that we're seeing another 'Merkel Effect,' where an elected official does not care at all that the rights of millions of ordinary citizens are violated by our spies, but suddenly it's a scandal when a politician finds out the same thing happens to them."

Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, was referring to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s anger over claims that the United States had eavesdropped on her personal conversations while failing to denounce the NSA for its mass surveillance of communications of German citizens.

Snowden, who is living in Russia under a temporary asylum after fleeing possible treason charges in the United States, had uncovered the spying on Merkel and German citizens when he stole a treasure trove of NSA documents, which he’s been slowly leaking to the media.

However, during a forum at the Council on Foreign Relations on Tuesday, Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, "As far hacking into Senate computers, nothing can be farther from the truth. We wouldn’t do that."

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"That’s just beyond the scope of reason in terms of what we do. The appropriate authorities now, both inside the CIA and outside the CIA, are looking at what CIA officers did.

"I defer to them to see if there was any violation of law. And I referred the matter to the CIA inspector general to make sure he was able to look honestly and objectively at what the CIA did.

"After the facts come out on this, a lot of people who are claiming that there has been this tremendous spying, monitoring and hacking will be proved wrong. If there were any inappropriate actions that were taken related to that review either by CIA or the [Senate Intelligence Committee] staff, I will be the first one to say we need to get to the bottom of this.

"And if I did something wrong, I will go to the president and I will explain to him what I did and what the findings were, and he’s the one who can ask me to stay or to go."

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