Caught Between Ally and Advisor, Obama Tries to Sidestep CIA Fight
I am unimpressed by his neutrality. IMHO he needs to step up and speak for the independence and strength of the oversight panel. The agency must be seen and be forced to act under, not apart from that authority. I’m no fan of Dianne Feinstein, but I’d like to see Obama watch her back for the sake of checks and balances. I must admit I support her side of this.
WASHINGTON - A bitter public fight between Sen. Dianne Feinstein and CIA Director John Brennan has got President Obama caught between a powerful political ally and a trusted senior advisor - and on Wednesday he showed what an uncomfortable place that is.
In his first public remarks on the clash, Obama tried not to take sides in the dispute that has erupted over whether Senate staffers improperly removed a sensitive document from CIA files, as the CIA claims, or whether the CIA improperly searched computers that the Senate staffers had used to investigate the agency’s now-defunct interrogation and detention program, as Feinstein insists.
Since the CIA has referred both its own role and that of the Senate investigators to the Justice Department for possible criminal investigation, Obama said, “That’s not something that is an appropriate role for me and the White House to wade into at this point.”
Obama’s remarks seemed to endorse the CIA’s decision to refer the case to the Justice Department - a move that Feinstein, the California Democrat who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, denounced Tuesday on the Senate floor as a crude attempt to intimidate aides on her committee.