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You know things have gone a little too far when Dianne Feinstein goes after the CIA.  In case you missed it amidst all the disappearing plane speculation, there is a major CIA vs. Congress story going on right now.

It seems that Dianne Feinstein finally thinks domestic surveillance has gone too far once it's targeted her Senate Intelligence Committee staffers.  To be fair, this isn't just another NSA surveillance program that finally raised the senator's hackles.  The story goes way back to the Bush torture days.  Remember the torture tapes that were destroyed?  Well, that triggered investigations that have been grinding along until the spat between the Senate and the CIA blew up.

The CIA, being the CIA, decided the best way to handle the problem was to search (snoop) the Senate Intelligence Committee computers.  The story has more twists and turns that I touch on in the cartoon, but in a nutshell:  the CIA has been spying on the Senate.  Or, to put it another way, an intelligence agency has been spying on the branch of government that is supposed to be overseeing it.  Not good.

I guess the silver lining in something so bad for Democracy is that I had an excuse to bring Knuckles and Snuggly the Security Bear together in the same cartoon.  It was only a matter of time . . .

[Knuckles]

Me Knuckles, me not gone yet.  Huhuhuh!

Me now have job in Washington, DC, closer to my bosses!

Me even get to work with friends who do neat spying things!  Huhuhuh!

It all started with my torture-er--interrogations--er--tickle-fuzzy-hugs, back when George Bush was president!

We make torture videos, which my CIA friends burn so our secrets, stay secret!

Then Barack Obama president, but me still around!

Nosy Senators want to know how I do the neat things I do.

My bosses not want to tell them.

So they bury them in millions of pages of reading and hide other papers from them.

But then . . . nosy Senate people find CIA report my bosses want to keep secret, bosses get mad, so they spy on Senate, make report disappear with computer magic!

But they get caught.

So Senate lady who likes spying on other people, very, very mad when she gets spied on herself.

Other friends mad too, now spying is "Nixon," constitution crisis and stuff.  (Me confused.)

But Barack Obama wants to help, make everything open and see-through.

Except for 9000 document things he won't turn over to nosy Senate people.

My bosses and spying friends take care of me, and now I understand.

Spying and torture go hand-in-hand . . . secrets good for both of us!  Huhuhhuh!

Originally posted to Comics on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It is a hoot. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, PSzymeczek, commonmass, patbahn

    Third Way "Democrats." What a riot.

    Trust, but verify. - Reagan
    Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

    When the rich have tripled their share of the income and wealth yet again, Republicans will still blame the poor and 3rd Way Democrats will still negotiate.

    by Words In Action on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:52:09 AM PDT

  •  Your line gave me a little fantasy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Nattiq, Calamity Jean

    Here's the CIA, being grilled by Feinstein and generally trying to make the story of their spying ON THEIR OWN BOSSES go away...

    Top spooks at Langley get together and brainstorm a way out of it, or at least a distraction from it. One genius suggests: "We can remotely control 777s. Let's make one disappear. Not an AMERICAN plane, but one filled with brown-skinned terrists."

    The vote is carried...and the story disappears, like magic. Because propaganda WORKS.

    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:07:48 AM PDT

  •  Never miss an opportunity to shoot your foot, Mark (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, commonmass, Amber6541

    Let me get this straight: the Senate torture report is going to be coming out.

    The CIA gets caught spying on the Senate, just before the report is released.

    Even Diane Feinstein is pissed off at the CIA over this breach of separation of powers.

    Add that all up, and we have the most favorable conditions we have ever had for winning a public fight over torture. On the eve of that fight breaking out into the open, the CIA gives our side the magnificent gift of putting an important segment of the middle on our side of the fight.

    And the way you write the story up is to take cheap shots at Obama and Feinstein.

    Think about that, everybody. The only officials named by name (while being denounced) in this video are 1) the Senator who is leading the denunciation of the CIA over the spying and 2) the President who banned torture.

    That's just great. Let's not go after the torturers. Let's not go after the pro-torture politicians on the Hill. No, let's form a circular firing squad instead.

    Strategery!

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:13:27 AM PDT

    •  Repost this when the report is actually released (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      david78209, commonmass

      someday.

      I'm a Christian, therefore I'm a liberal.

      by VirginiaJeff on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:23:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's a tough decision (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO, commonmass

      Get angry about spooks out of control ever since 9-11, hell, ever since the 70s Church Committee hearings...or throw your hands up.

      Can't decide. Not to pick a fight, joe, but do you really expect any sort of actual CHANGE from this scandal? Obama has 'outlawed' torture--again. We've already won the public debate on torture. What we HAVE needed is an investigation into the Bush administration's breaking of those laws. Who's to blame for that NOT happening?

      Feinstein, Holder and Obama. Probably many other Democratic traitors. Every Republican in office. And no one else.

      You seem to be complaining about a problem that doesn't exist. We already have torture laws; there is no actual need for reform. The laws just get broken and ignored, depending on the current President. Fiore is simply pointing a finger at who's in charge, and that is undeniable. This is only one reason that I, as a loyal Democrat, Obama voter and progressive, would have to join the 50%+ who say they do NOT approve of the job Obama is doing as President. Just one. There are many others.

      Criticizing Obama is not a crime, and won't hurt his re-election chances. Not any more.

      "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

      by DaddyO on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:29:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, we haven't won the public debate. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass

        I wish that was true, but it's not. Obama changed the policy, and policy wins are a big deal, but this is very much not a settled issue. Look at Zero Dark Thirty.

        The public is still split, polarized, over torture. It is still widely believed that it helped provide good intelligence, and should remain a tool in the box. We picked up some ground between 2006 and 2009, but the other side is still very much in the field.

        You say we need an investigation into Bush-era torture; that's exactly what this Senate report is. So why are we not talking about that report, and battering the career CIA for trying to undermine it? Why are we going after Feinstein instead? What purpose does it serve, in the anti-torture cause, to train our fire on the people (even if they're compromised) who are leading the charge?

        This is an actually fight now, with the sides drawn up. Even you think some people on your side in that fight deserve to be shot, it's still worth noticing that shortcomings of the circular firing squad as a combat doctrine.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:38:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  FWIW, Bush was also named (0+ / 0-)

      Basically it isn't substance the bothers you but rather that he mentions the President and Feinstein. To be fair, the President us the Chief Executive, and there is a certain irony that Senator Feinstein only got worked up when her workplace was targeted.

      A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

      by slatsg on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:49:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ah! Yes! A "circular firing squad" indeed. But (0+ / 0-)

      the question there remains:  Who actually shoots whom?

    •  Who decided not to go after the torturers? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      Most progressives I know saw that as a horrible decision and a terrible precedent.

      Who decided not to raise the same stink about Americans being spied upon as they did the Senate being spied upon? Seems to me both of those compose a Constitutional crisis.

      Isn't torture a crime? Isn't hiding evidence of a crime itself a crime? Doesn't refusing to prosecute those who were quite obviously breaking the law or responsible for it amount to being an accessory after the fact?

      This is just one political cartoon from Fiore that addresses certain aspects of these issues. Your allegation that he is singling out people is preposterous on its face, as it ignores the tremendous body of work of his that has previously named many names. It also ignores that the medium of political satire isn't the same as writing a book on the subject.

      It's good the SSIC is producing a report on torture, but it isn't good that the CIA and the White House are obstructing and withholding documents that could prevent the whole truth from coming out. Who controls the CIA and the NSA? You aren't so naïve as to think the President is powerless in those areas, are you?

  •  If this goes into the courts, a judge may get to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    david78209, commonmass

    read all that the President and others are withholding and decide what can be made public.  I'm not sure how the Supremes might line up on the matter, but we can only hope for sunshine and that DiFi hangs on to her overdue fit.  It's possible that a constitutional crisis may bring about more democracy than the CIA has counted on.

    Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

    by hawkseye on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:19:27 AM PDT

  •  The 20's dance band soundtrack is apt. (0+ / 0-)

    It feels like the 20's these days. Just ask Wall Street.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:55:23 AM PDT

  •  chilling background singing (0+ / 0-)

    "...but they sometimes die..."

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