(Photo: Senate Television via AP)
The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Tuesday that the CIA searched the panel’s computers and that the search may have violated the Constitution.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein: "I have grave concerns that the CIA’s search may well have violated the separation of powers principles embodied by the United States Constitution, including the speech and debate clause. It may have undermined the Constitutional framework essential to effective congressional oversight of intelligence activity or any other government function."
The CIA is investigating whether its officers improperly monitored members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which oversees the agency, U.S. officials said Wednesday.
CIA Inspector General David Buckley is looking into the circumstances surrounding the allegations of CIA abuse of a Bush-era detention and interrogation program, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told reporters. The investigation will examine whether CIA officers improperly monitored Senate members or accessed their computers, two officials familiar with the case said.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.
(Photo: 2004 Getty Images)
by Erica Fein, WAND Nuclear Weapons Policy Officer
The President’s budget release is a perfect time to think about our national priorities over the coming years: Do we want to invest in programs to keep America vibrant, well-educated, and healthy, or do we want a hollowed-out America where spending on expensive and unworkable weapons systems take precedent?
Nuclear weapons, increasingly less useful for 21st century defense, should be one of the places where we are re-prioritizing. Yet, the President’s budget increased spending on nuclear weapons by seven percent, to $8.31 billion. It appears the increase is almost fully offset by a decrease in funding for nonproliferation programs – the programs that prevent nuclear materials from falling into the wrong hands.
B61 A Prime Example of Misplaced Priorities
Much of this increase is for the unnecessarily complex upgrade to the B61, a Cold War-era nuclear bomb. While most experts agree that some sort of life extension to this weapon is needed as long as it is part of the nuclear stockpile, leaders in the U.S. Congress are not convinced of the Administration’s plans. As Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chairwoman of the Appropriations Subcommittee that makes funding decisions on nuclear weapons, has stated, “A more narrow scope of work [on the B61] would safely extend its life while meeting military requirements.”