Dianne Feinstein is Still Anti-Transparency

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Founders of Fusion GPS testified in front of 3 Senate Committees as part of Senate’s Russia probe into the 2016 election meddling. In an Op-Ed that they published in NYTimes, they urged the Senate Committees to publicize their testimonies, all 21 hours of it so Americans can learn about their work and ‘most importantly’, learn about what happened to our democracy.

Californian Senator Dianne Feinstein obliged to their requests and made public the transcript of Glenn Simpson’s interview. She released a statement saying:

The American people deserve the opportunity to see what he said and judge for themselves. The innuendo and misinformation circulating about the transcript are part of a deeply troubling effort to undermine the investigation into potential collusion and obstruction of justice. The only way to set the record straight is to make the transcript public.

Those who only took up interests in American politics once Donald Trump took the center stage may be forgiven for thinking Dianne Feinstein, a bulwark of Government transparency. One certainly gets that impression from the statement (quoted above) that her office released.

As far as Glenn Simpson’s testimony goes that strike down Conservative claims about the Russia investigation, she certainly seems steadfast about Americans’ right to know what their Representatives in the Senate are up to. It is only a coincidence that circulating ‘innuendo and misinformation’ that she wants to quench also help her disparage her Republican candidates and the President on the national stage.

Fusion GPS testimony is not what interests most people but its’ release surely helps Senator’s electability chances whose seat is up for elections in 2018. Steele Dossier does not hold any credibility other than it corroborates other unsubstantiated claims made to the FBI. James Comey told the Senate Committee that he briefed then-President-elect on the dossier but let him know that the FBI had NO evidence substantiating any of the claims it made.

After the Comey hearing, Fusion GPS’s testimony was only important in highlighting their link with the Clinton campaign and whether they had knowingly tried to undermine Trump’s presidency.

The problem with neo-liberals like Dianne Feinstein is that they are so obviously inconsistent. While they demand respect and consideration, they deserve neither. Under President Obama, Senator Dianne Feinstein was the most anti-transparency Politician because she wanted to protect the Democratic President from criticism for the most grotesque power abuses that even made the drafters of the Patriot’s Act shudder.

The fact that she is taking a stand now and touting the public’s right to know about the inner matters of the Government is laughable and depends entirely on the political affiliation of the occupant of the White House.

When the Snowden files surfaced, Dianne Feinstein instead of arguing for curtailment of NSA’s scope and power as a result of their illegal and unconstitutional surveillance of US citizens, she defended the agency’s surveillance in an Op-Ed saying ‘collection of metadata’ was not surveillance at all since it did not ‘collect the content of communication’.

This was pure BS since metadata can reveal more about a person’s dealings than eavesdropping on their communications. Dianne Feinstein refused to a request made that she release a list of every person she contacted at the end of each month.

Nevertheless, Dianne Feinstein presented a defense for the President and the National Security Agency again and again instead of holding an open conference to grill NSA officials. Even in Senate hearings, she would ramble about 9/11 and reiterate the importance of averting terrorist attacks despite reports after reports concluding that NSA’s surveillance did not thwart one terrorist attack.

She did not once criticize President Obama for interpreting Patriot’s Act as he damn well pleased even though he campaigned on repealing it. Senator Feinstein talked about the power that the Constitution bestows on the President to ‘protect the nation’ while not mentioning once in her debates, 4th Amendment rights of American citizens.

It was almost as if she was Barack Obama’s private attorney instead of a representative of the people. At that time, her loyalties lied with the Democratic President rather than with her people and the US Constitution.

She was charged with exercising primary oversight over the NSA programs but all she did was enable them privately and defend them publicly. Senator Feinstein presented various reforms that on the surface protected the privacy of US citizens but did not in practice do so. Privacy reforms coming from a Senator who fear mongered her audience to justify NSA’s domestic spying programs were never going to be effective.

But it is not just her party that she puts over the country, her husband who before the Iraq invasion had major stakes in various military contracts also might have had something to do with Dianna Feinstein vehement and unequivocal support for the Iraq war.

More than being rogue themselves, they also hindered their colleagues who genuinely wanted to curtail NSA’s ability by blocking their access to basic information about various NSA programs. It was almost as if the Defense Establishments of the United States handpicked Dianne Feinstein and Mike Rogers to exercise oversight the very agencies that they had contracts with.

While it is good that we push for Government transparency as much as possible but to get behind politicians who support transparency only in case of the opposition and neglect the most grotesque violations of civil liberties at the hands of one of their own, is to engage in a fallacy that leads to short-term benefits for rogue politicians to the detriment of long-term precedents of a democracy.

The idea that politicians like Dianne Feinstein tout that ‘you shouldn’t be afraid if you have nothing to hide’, why doesn’t the same apply to their Governments? Why should they be afraid of transparency if they have nothing to hide?

— Shah (Twitter: CalculusGod)

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