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Tag Archives: Dianne Feinstein

Questions About CIA v. DOD Drone Strikes

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Two reasons often given for the need to transfer targeting killing by drone from CIA exclusively to DOD are (i) collateral damage reduction, because DOD supposedly has stricter targeting criteria and better law-of-war compliance, and (ii) more robust oversight.  Neither reason is sound. Taking the second point first, as we have often noted on this blog, . . .
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Drone Strikes and the CIA vs JSOC Quality-Control Comparison

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Monday, May 12, 2014 at 10:15 AM

For those who are still wondering why the Obama administration has not followed through on the idea of shifting all responsibility for drone strikes from CIA to JSOC, this story from Ken Dilanian of the L.A. Times provides some useful context. Building on an account about a CIA-JSOC disagreement regarding the sufficiency of the intelligence . . .
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SSCI Votes to Release Parts of Detention and Interrogation Report

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Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Likely you know by now of this afternoon’s 11-3 vote.  The Washington Post reports here, and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein’s statement can be found here.  The latter opens: “The Senate Intelligence Committee this afternoon voted to declassify the 480-page executive summary as well as 20 findings and conclusions of the majority’s five-year study of the CIA . . .
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Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast, Episode #12: An Interview with Jim Lewis

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 6:23 AM

This week’s cyberlaw podcast begins as always with the week in NSA. We suspect that a second tech exec meeting with the President (for two hours!) bodes ill for the intelligence community, or at least the 215 metadata program, as does the shifting position of usually stalwart NSA supporters like Dianne Feinstein and Dutch Ruppersberger. . . .
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Text of Senator Feinstein’s Remarks This Morning Regarding SSCI and CIA

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 11:28 AM

You can find the Senator’s statement here.  Her speech began as follows: Over the past week, there have been numerous press articles written about the Intelligence Committee’s oversight review of the Detention and Interrogation Program of the CIA, specifically press attention has focused on the CIA’s intrusion and search of the Senate Select Committee’s computers . . .
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Senator Feinstein’s Remarks on the CIA-SSCI Document Controversy

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Right now, Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Chairman, is speaking out, on the Senate floor, about a well-publicized dispute between the CIA and the SSCI—regarding the latter’s review of documents pertaining to the CIA’s interrogation practices in the years following 9/11, and the CIA’s auditing of Committee staffers’ computer use during the review. . . .
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Congressional Control of Intelligence Programs (sometimes)

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Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 7:03 PM

In the last ten days, an interesting controversy has bubbled up over congressional control of the drone program.  The quarrel, which has been both internal to the Senate and between the Congress and the Executive, raises some important issues regarding Congress’s ability to control controversial but classified programs (such as the current drone program and . . .
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The Legislative Dynamics of FISA Reform

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Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Raffaela’s piece this morning offers a granular breakdown of what the major FISA reform proposals would do across a number of different axes. In reading both it and the bills it describes, I had four brief higher-altitude thoughts about the legislative dynamics at work here. First, there are some broad areas of legislative agreement. The . . .
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An Overview of FISA Reform Options on Capitol Hill

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Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Edward Snowden’s disclosures and subsequent government declassifications have prompted a wave of proposals to retool the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”). Some of these proposed revisions are new; others merely reprise older ideas which were put forward earlier in Congress, as recently as 2012. Rare bipartisan alliances have coalesced during the debate—ones that have more . . .
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Skepticism about Supposed White House and Intelligence Committee Ignorance About NSA Collection Against Allied Leaders [UPDATED]

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Count me as very skeptical about the suggestions in recent days that neither the White House nor the congressional intelligence committees knew about NSA collections against leaders in allied countries. I have a hard time believing that the President in his many hundreds of intelligence briefings – scores of which surely involved intelligence about allied . . .
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The NSA, Oversight, the Law, and Why Compliance is the Ball Game

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Friday, September 27, 2013 at 9:22 AM

For the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing yesterday, I prepared a written statement for the record, and I had intended merely to summarize that statement in my oral presentation. Two things happened that caused me to tear up my remarks and speak more extemporaneously. One was that Chairman Feinstein’s opening statement, in which she gave an . . .
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My Statement Today Before the Senate Intelligence Committee

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Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 2:00 PM

The following is my my prepared statement for today’s hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The hearing, which is beginning at this hour, concerns reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.  Thank you, Chairman Feinstein, Vice Chairman Chambliss, and members of the committee for inviting me to present my views on reform of the Foreign . . .
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Congress is Still Naked

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Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 12:03 AM

Our piece last night summarizing the just-released FISC opinion on Section 215 bulk metadata collection unleashed a storm of protest that caught us a little by surprise. In particular, Marcy Wheeler (aka emptywheel) went medieval on our repetition of FISC Judge Claire Eagan’s suggestion that a 2011 report the administration sent to Congress on bulk . . .
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Sens. Durbin and Feinstein Don’t Address the Toughest Guantanamo Questions

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Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Like David Remes, but with different assumptions and for different reasons, I was disappointed with Senators Durbin and Feinstein’s op-ed purporting to offer a plan for closing Guantanamo.  As I’ve argued here recently, proposals of this sort – transferring many detainees to foreign countries and moving the rest into the United States for trial or . . .
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The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 12:00 PM

I have a long review in the New Republic of Mark Mazzetti’s excellent new book, The Way of the Knife.  The first half of the review simply summarizes the book, the main point of which is to demonstrate how since 9/11 the CIA and DOD have changed to become like one another.  In short, the CIA has become (in . . .
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Chemical Weapons in Syria: Enough to Justify the Use of Force?

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Friday, April 26, 2013 at 10:25 PM

Now that the United States has acknowledged – with a modest level of confidence – that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against the rebels, many press articles are asking whether (or arguing that) the United States should consider using force in Syria. See, for example, here, here, and here. Senators McCain and Feinstein . . .
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More on Drone Shift from CIA to DOD

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Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 7:56 PM

Following up on Wells’ post, I increasingly think that the shift in drone authorities from CIA to DOD  first reported by Dan Klaidman might not amount to much in substance, and that any proposed changes face many hurdles in any event.  In addition to the suggestions to this effect in the  NYT story that Wells discusses, the . . .
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Drones, Domestic Detention, and the Costs of Libertarian Hijacking

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Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 4:28 PM

The more I reflect on last week’s drone contretemps–and what effect the efforts of Senator Paul and his followers has had / may still have on U.S. policy–the more I have a profound and distressing sense of déjà vu. After all, it was barely 15 months ago that a hitherto-unheard-of coalition between what can safely . . .
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Two Additional Thoughts on Senator Paul’s Filibuster

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Friday, March 8, 2013 at 10:52 AM

First, I objected to the large mischaracterizations in Senator Paul’s remarks, and think the ones about our targeting practices abroad were especially damaging.  But there is no doubt that Senator Paul succeeded wildly in focusing public (and congressional) attention on the issues of drone policy, excessive administration secrecy, the scope of the conflict, and the . . .
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In Defense of the Administration on Targeted Killing of Americans

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 10:00 AM

In writing my testimony for today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on drones and targeted killing of U.S. citizens overseas, I found myself writing a more complete explication of the essential legal rationale underlying the administration’s position on the subject than I have, to date, set down in one place. Some of it was drawn from . . .
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