Feinstein Condemns Spying on Allies, Calls for Immediate Intelligence Review

Decision Makers DEFENSE Hearing Senate Appropriations Dianne Feinstein
© 2009 Liz Lynch/202-744-8737
Stacy Kaper
See more stories about...
Stacy Kaper
Oct. 28, 2013, 1:40 p.m.

Sen­ate In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee Chair­wo­man Di­anne Fein­stein, D-Cal­if., is­sued an un­usu­ally fiery state­ment Monday, com­plain­ing that the In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee was un­in­formed about the Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Agency’s sur­veil­lance of U.S. al­lies, which she said was cause for an im­me­di­ate full re­view of all in­tel­li­gence pro­grams.

“It is abund­antly clear that a total re­view of all in­tel­li­gence pro­grams is ne­ces­sary so that mem­bers of the Sen­ate In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee are fully in­formed as to what is ac­tu­ally be­ing car­ried out by the in­tel­li­gence com­munity,” Fein­stein said in a press re­lease.

Fein­stein drew a dis­tinc­tion between the NSA’s col­lec­tion of phone re­cords through the For­eign In­tel­li­gence Sur­veil­lance Court, which she sup­ports, and mon­it­or­ing calls of friendly lead­ers, to which she said she is “totally op­posed.”

Fein­stein said that such sur­veil­lance should only be per­miss­ible if the U.S. is en­gaged in hos­til­it­ies against a coun­try or there is an emer­gency need for such sur­veil­lance, in which case it should be up to the pres­id­ent to ap­prove.

Re­cent rev­el­a­tions that the NSA has mon­itored the cell phones of for­eign lead­ers, in­clud­ing Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel, came to light from in­form­a­tion leaked by former NSA con­tract­or Ed­ward Snowden, who is hid­ing out un­der tem­por­ary asylum in Rus­sia.

“It is my un­der­stand­ing that Pres­id­ent Obama was not aware Chan­cel­lor Merkel’s com­mu­nic­a­tions were be­ing col­lec­ted since 2002. That is a big prob­lem,” she said.

Fein­stein said she sup­por­ted the White House’s an­nounce­ment that phone sur­veil­lance of al­lied lead­ers will cease but re­it­er­ated the need for a full re­view of all in­tel­li­gence pro­grams.

But later Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Coun­cil spokes­wo­man Caitlin Hay­den is­sued a state­ment that would not con­firm that sur­veil­lance on all for­eign lead­ers would cease, only that a re­view on the ap­pro­pri­ate pos­ture when it comes to heads of state had been un­der way since the sum­mer and de­cisions were still be­ing made.

“The ad­min­is­tra­tion’s re­view is on­go­ing so I’m not in a po­s­i­tion to dis­cuss the de­tails or the out­comes, but we have already made some de­cisions through this pro­cess and ex­pect to make more as we con­tin­ue,” Hay­den said. “The re­view is meant to be com­pleted by the end of the year.”

Fein­stein said that the events dic­tated a thor­ough ex­am­in­a­tion of in­tel­li­gence ini­ti­at­ives.

“As far as I’m con­cerned, Con­gress needs to know ex­actly what our in­tel­li­gence com­munity is do­ing. To that end, the com­mit­tee will ini­ti­ate a ma­jor re­view in­to all in­tel­li­gence-col­lec­tion pro­grams,” she said.

Sep­ar­ately, the Sen­ate In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee is sched­uled to vote on le­gis­la­tion be­hind closed doors Tues­day, in­ten­ded to add great­er trans­par­ency and ac­count­ab­il­ity to the NSA’s do­mest­ic sur­veil­lance of the phone and In­ter­net re­cords of mil­lions of Amer­ic­ans.

Fein­stein has ar­gued that such pro­grams are ne­ces­sary for na­tion­al se­cur­ity but fa­vors le­gis­la­tion in­ten­ded to en­hance the pro­gram’s cred­ib­il­ity, such as mak­ing clear there are ex­press lim­its on ac­cess to such in­form­a­tion.

What We're Following See More »
1.5 MILLION MORE TUNED IN FOR TRUMP
More People Watched Trump’s Acceptance Speech
14 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Hillary Clinton hopes that television ratings for the candidates' acceptance speeches at their respective conventions aren't foreshadowing of similar results at the polls in November. Preliminary results from the networks and cable channels show that 34.9 million people tuned in for Donald Trump's acceptance speech while 33.3 million watched Clinton accept the Democratic nomination. However, it is still possible that the numbers are closer than these ratings suggest: the numbers don't include ratings from PBS or CSPAN, which tend to attract more Democratic viewers.

Source:
×