A Republican Defends CIA Spying—After They Admit Guilt!

I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that a Republican defends CIA spying—or at least claims that they never really did it. What does surprise me is that he does so after they admit guilt! As Bob Allen wrote, “What the CIA chief formerly dismissed as ‘beyond the scope of reason’ is now confirmed as true.”

You think that would settle the issue, but no. The Hill reports:

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said Sunday he doesn’t think the CIA spied on the Senate.

Rogers said it’s clear that someone at the CIA “overstepped their bounds,” but he also defended the agency during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The House intelligence chief said the story of the CIA’s dispute with the Senate is a complicated one, but he added that the “notion” that the CIA “hacked” into congressional computers” is wrong.

“Remember, these weren’t Senate computers, these were CIA computers at the CIA,” he said.

“Somebody needs to be held accountable. This is very serious. But I don’t think this is some conspiracy notion that they wanted to spy on either of our committees,” Rogers said. “That of course would be intolerable. I think [it] would be a crime.

“This suggests someone overstepped their bounds by trying to figure out what the coding was on who had access to CIA computers and CIA spaces. “

An internal CIA report released last week criticized the CAI for searching computer files and reading e-mails of Senate investigators who had been looking into the CIA’s interrogation practices.

So, the CIA gave the Senate investigators computers that were for their personal use. They thought they had privacy. They were supposed to have privacy. Someone in the CIA violated that privacy. This was “very serious.” Whoever did it “needs to be held accountable.” The CIA “overstepped their bounds.”

So what exactly is the “conspiracy theory” here? The  fact is that no one is really privy to the formal and especially informal channels of communication within the CIA. How does Rogers know that this was merely done by a “lone gunman”?

Also, why does it matter that the computers belonged to the CIA. If Rogers admits that privacy was violated, as he does, then what exactly is he defending?