If Brennan Gets Away with Spying on Congress, What Does That Mean for American Democracy?
There is a scandal that should, at the very least, destroy Brennan’s career. If it doesn’t, what does that say about the executive office? About American democracy? At Counterpunch today, Dave Lindorff doesn’t mince words:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), head of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, says that John Brennan, the director of the CIA who has finally admitted that he lied when he angrily and repeatedly insisted that the agency did not spy on staff members of the Senate committee charged with oversight US intelligence agencies, “has a lot of work to do,” before she can forgive him for lying to and spying on her committee.
Not really. The truth is Feinstein and her committee have a lot of work to do. If Brennan does not resign, or get forced out of his job, immediately, his work is done. That is to say, he will have succeeded in fatally wounding what’s left of the democratic, Constitutional government that traces its roots back to 1776.
The CIA spied on Congress and Brennan lied about it. How can Obama not immediately demand Brennan’s resignation? What are the implications of Brennan remaining director? Lindorff is asking the same questions:
Why is he still in office as CIA director? Why, indeed, is Clapper still his boss, as head of National Intelligence?
The only conceivable answer at this point has to be that the members of Congress, including the members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and the President, (who remember, has the absolute authority to fire both men at will), are so thoroughly corrupt and compromised themselves that they dare not go after these Constitutional criminals, jailing them for their utter contempt of Congress, and having them for high treason.
Leaving Clapper, and especially Brennan, in office is the ultimate surrender by Congress of what little remains of democratic government in the US. It is the end of the Constitution. If secret government cannot be called to account, then the country is being run by a secret government whose power no longer has any limits.
Don’t expect Obama to do a goddamn thing. He’s too busy playing golf and increasing tenfold the watch lists for the out-of-control security state. This latter information comes from another leaker within that security state, leaked to The Intercept. From the link:
Nearly half of the people on the U.S. government’s widely shared database of terrorist suspects are not connected to any known terrorist group, according to classified government documents obtained by The Intercept.
Of the 680,000 people caught up in the government’s Terrorist Screening Database—a watchlist of “known or suspected terrorists” that is shared with local law enforcement agencies, private contractors, and foreign governments—more than 40 percent are described by the government as having “no recognized terrorist group affiliation.” That category—280,000 people—dwarfs the number of watchlisted people suspected of ties to al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah combined.
The documents, obtained from a source in the intelligence community, also reveal that the Obama Administration has presided over an unprecedented expansion of the terrorist screening system. Since taking office, Obama has boosted the number of people on the no fly list more than ten-fold, to an all-time high of 47,000—surpassing the number of people barred from flying under George W. Bush.
Where will this end? If Congress is too corrupt and intimidated to provide effective oversight, and the executive office (Obama) is too corrupt and complicit in systemic abuses of our constitutional rights to fire the treasonous bastards destroying the last shreds of our democracy, where do we go?
Lindorff has an answer, and I don’t like it one bit:
There are ways to recover government of, by and for the people, but they are no longer likely to involve elections, since secret government has the power to subvert elections. If Brennan and Clapper can get away with what they have thus far gotten away with — not just thumbing their noses at Congress, but actually spying on its members with impunity — then the only way to take back popular government remains overthrowing those in power, dragging them before public tribunals, and administering people’s justice, whatever form that may ultimately take.
Sen. Feinstein is wrong. Brennan doesn’t “have a lot of work to do.”