Feinstein Too Emotional for CIA Torture Report, Says Ex-CIA Director

South ParkSouth ParkSen. Dianne Feinstein is one of the bigger cheerleaders for the government's massive surveillance programs. Michael Hayden, former director of both the National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), is usually an ideological bosom buddy to her. Yesterday, though, he accused her of being too emotional for questioning the CIA's detention and interrogation activities.

Feinstein is the chair of the Senate select committee, which recently voted to declassify a 500-page portion of a 6,300-page study that indicates CIA torture has been an ineffective tool in the war on terror. Intelligence officials aren't happy this information is going public. So Hayden took a shot at Feinstein on Chris Wallace's Fox News show:

WALLACE: But the report says that more prisoners were abused than we had previously known and that the enhanced interrogation produced little intelligence of significance.

HAYDEN: Yes. I read an article by David Ignatius earlier this week. And he said –

WALLACE: He's a columnist for The Washington Post.

HAYDEN: Right. He said that Senator Feinstein wanted a report so scathing that it would ensure that an un-American brutal program of detention interrogation would never again be considered or permitted.

Now, that sentence, that motivation for the report, Chris, may show deep emotional feeling on part of the senator. But I don't think it leads you to an objective report.

WALLACE: I mean, forgive me, because you and I both know Senator Feinstein. I have the highest regard for her. You're saying you think she was emotional in these conclusions?

HAYDEN: What I'm saying is -- first of all, Chris, you're asking me about a report. I have no idea of its content. No one responsible for that report has spoken a word of this to me, to George Tenet, to Porter Goss, to anyone else that is involved in these events. But it's very hard for me to make a judgment.

Techdirt's Mike Masnick, no apologist for Feinstein, argues that the former CIA director misconstrues the senator's motivation. "Rather than being emotionally motivated to create the report (as Hayden falsely claims), Feinstein realized that the report was so damning that it needed to be made public to stop future CIA torture and abuse." If nothing else, she may want to get back at the agency for allegedly spying on her office.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Lovely. Insult the senator who regularly carries your water. Yes, do it. Call her a pussy and dare her to do anything about it, too.

  • ||

    I'll take political cat fights over the status quo.

  • Pro Libertate||

    No, no, I meant "lovely" as in "Please keep doing this." I crave a constitutional crisis.

  • Brett L||

    When the mighty CIA is gutted by identity politics, I will throw a party and invite all of my identity politics loving acquaintances.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Maybe he'll next imply that her concern about the CIA is due to it being "that time of the month." Oh, the firestorm.

  • Brett L||

    I'm pretty sure that implying that a power figure is hysterical because they are female is a capital offense.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, one rogue agency down. Next, the NSA, which must be encouraged to display its racism.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Feinstein deserves all the backstabbing she gets from the people she carried water for.

    She was supposed to be the paragon of civil rights, and instead she carried water for their debasement.

    Did anyone do more to provide cover for the evil shit the Bush Administration did to our constitutional rights?

    Sure, the people who actually perpetrated this stuff in both the Bush and Obama Administrations are to blame, but I'm talking about providing credible cover...

    Because there were an awful lot of liberals (and I'm talking about voters, pundits, journalists, and editorial writers), who seemed to think that there wasn't too much to worry about--since Dianne Feinstein was effectively signing off on everything that was happening.

    She made her bed. Time to take a nap. She'll be disavowed by the Obama Administration before this is over, too!

  • ||

    "Feinstein deserves all the backstabbing she gets from the people she carried water for."

    She deserves a lot more, but I will just leave it at that.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Feinstein realized that the report was so damning that it needed to be made public to stop future CIA torture and abuse.

    Faux-scandal.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Rather than being emotionally motivated to create the report (as Hayden falsely claims), Feinstein realized that the report was so damning that it needed to be made public to stop future CIA torture and abuse."

    Here's the ultimate irony: not long ago, Dianne Feinstein was denouncing Eric Snowden as a traitor!

    http://thehill.com/blogs/defco.....re-treason

    I guess treason is okay when she wants to do it? Actually, telling the American people about their own government's systematic abuse of constitutional rights couldn't possibly be treason.

    But tell us, Dianne, how's it feel to be treated like a traitor for trying to tell the American people the truth? And for goodness' sake, please, don't get all emotional!

  • wareagle||

    water boarding, bad; drone strikes, good. Because rethuglicans.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    This may be a helpful development. If the report is as devastating as rumored, then anyone who defends the CIA will get accused of misogyny.

    "Oh, I bet you don't think female Senators have the emotional maturity to hold torturers accountable?"

    "No, I'm not sexist, I...*sputter* *sputter*..."

    "Shut up, sexist! I'll show you, I'll support all the report's recommendations, so there!"

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "Will you support Sen. Feinstein's well-researched, rational report, or will you side with the sexist torturers at the CIA?"

  • LynchPin1477||

    Sounds sexist. RELEASE THE HOUNDS!!!

  • ||

    I agree that it is inappropriate to let emotion color this discussion. It should be decided strictly on constitutional grounds. They don't want to do that. This is a really cheap shot at Feinstein.

    This means Hayden will be sticking all the fear mongering, a form of appeal to emotion, used to justify this bullshit right up his ass, right?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    He will use a bunch of rational arguments like "9/11!" and "suitcase nukes!"

  • ||

    Jesus Christ Zenon, if ever there was an image begging for alt-text that is it.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Diane Feinstein: protector of the huddled masses yearning to be free.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement