Time to scrap the CIA

The agency does almost nothing right — and now it's a direct threat to American democracy

CIA
(Image credit: (iStock))

Back in March, I wrote that the United States was embroiled in a full-blown constitutional crisis. In a speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) accused the CIA of monitoring the computers of her staffers, who were working on a scathing report on the CIA's torture program. It raised fundamental questions about the legitimacy of the agency: Without oversight, secret spying cannot possibly be justified in a democracy.

In part, Feinstein's speech was a response to the agency asking the Department of Justice to prosecute her staffers for allegedly stealing classified documents. Given the incentives in play, and the CIA's wretched recent history, I concluded this was an attempt to sandbag the Senate investigation, discredit the report should it be released, and prevent a DOJ investigation. Feinstein herself described it as "a potential effort to intimidate this staff."

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