Back in October I wrote a post speculating that the reason why Congress has been so lax in its oversight of the CIA and NSA is that the House and Senate members know that if they push too hard, these surveillance agencies could come after them with embarrassing information. No one has any firm evidence that this is the case, but it did seem to make sense to me as a distinct possibility. Now, however, there is some indication that this may in fact be something more than speculation. According to a March 13 article in Roll Call, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi praised Sen. Diane Feinstein’s courage for alleging the CIA spied on members of the Senate Intelligence Committee in this statement.
“I salute Sen. Feinstein. I’ll tell you, you take on the intelligence community, you’re a person of courage, and she does not do that lightly. Not without evidence, and when I say evidence, documentation of what it is that she is putting forth. You don’t fight it without a price because they come after you and they don’t always tell the truth.”
They come after you. Here is the most powerful person in the House of Representatives telling the American people that even if you’re a Senator or Congressperson, the intelligence community will seek retribution if you cross them. Isn’t this admitting that blackmail is being used to keep representatives in line? Again, I’m sure that it is not overt. No one has spell this out. You just know that if you get on the bad side of the NSA or CIA, embarrassing events from your past can suddenly become very public. And, as Pelosi states, they’re not above making up shit about you.
How do you rein in a monster like this? Who has the guts to even try?