Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Compare and Contrast

Exception Sought in Detainee Abuse Ban.

the White House is insisting that the Central Intelligence Agency be exempted from a proposed ban on abusive treatment of suspected Qaeda militants and other terrorists.
(previously discussed.)


Tighter Oversight of F.B.I. Is Urged After Investigation Lapses.

The debate was prompted by a set of internal F.B.I. documents made public on Monday that disclosed at least a dozen violations of federal law or bureau policy from 2002 to 2004 in the handling of surveillance and investigative matters.

Expanding on that data, the bureau said on Monday that internal reviews had identified 113 violations since last year that were referred to a federal intelligence board.

In several cases, the documents released on Monday showed, F.B.I. agents extended investigations and surveillance operations for months without getting approval from supervisors or giving notification.

In another case, an F.B.I. agent still on probation gained access to banking records without getting needed approval, in violation of federal privacy restrictions. In a separate episode, an agency outside the F.B.I., apparently the Central Intelligence Agency, was improperly allowed to conduct a physical search in the United States, without the target's consent, as part of a counterintelligence investigation.
Maybe it would have been better if the CIA had tortured the guy at the same time.

The C.I.A. is so much less trustworthy and subject to so much less oversight than the F.B.I. or military, that it makes no sense at all to grant them powers that, if they are allowed at all, must be tightly overseen.

"Joe Hill" by Utah Phillips from the album We Have Fed You All a Thousand Years (1993, 1:37).