Start Snitchin'


How, you wonder, does the CIA get away with something like destroying video evidence of illegal activity? Surely there's some congressional oversight. Well, as it turns out, there sort of is: Senator Jay Rockefeller and Rep. Jane Harman knew some of what was going on and were maybe kinda sorta upset about it, but they didn't take any public action of the sort that might have actually prevented the evidence from being destroyed. As Marty Lederman observes, "Jay Rockefeller is constantly learning of legally dubious (at best) CIA intelligence activities, and then saying nothing about them publicly until they are leaked to the press, at which point he expresses outrage and incredulity -- but reveals nothing."

The Democratic leadership really needs to start taking these Intel Committee postings more seriously. These are jobs that require smart, savvy, credible people who are prepared to wield the authority of their offices effectively. The country, by necessity, is going to have intelligence services who do a lot of things in the dark with someone minimal oversight. The burden of doing that oversight falls on the intelligence committees, and it's an extremely important job. Time and again Rockefeller looks not ready for prime time.