What Happens When Federal Agencies Go Rogue

April 4, 2014

During the past few weeks, Washington, DC, has seen more drama than an episode of “House of Cards.” Remember when the Senate Intelligence Committee was spied upon by the very agency it was tasked to oversee? The CIA, afraid of looking bad, sabotaged Senate staffers who were investigating its torture techniques. A damning report set to be released soon by the same committee exposes the CIA’s efforts to exaggerate the effectiveness of enhanced interrogation (torture) techniques.

All of this occurred, and then we learned of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) covert attempt to foment unrest in Cuba by creating a “Cuban Twitter.” USAID, which is a development agency, went rogue and decided to haphazardly attempt to start a revolution in the tiny island 90 miles off the coast of Florida. Where is our country heading when federal agencies are dismissing administrative oversight and going beyond their mandates?

The CIA has not only continued to use torture against suspected terrorists, it lied to its own people in order to cover up its useless and ineffective methods. Putting aside the moral imperative not to torture, the CIA did not work within the legal boundaries set by the Obama administration. It clearly is time to question the enforcement of our rules and regulations.

To the CIA, we ask: Does the fact that you have to exaggerate about the effectiveness of a program tell you that said program is probably useless?

To USAID, we ask: How many lives did you improve with Cuban Twitter?

Policies are not written by Hollywood screenwriters for entertainment, they are written to ensure order. When agencies decide not to follow policies, disorder ensues.  The CIA and USAID’s choice not to follow rules requires the hammer of the law to come down hard on their actions. Our national security and the liberties we hold so dear are compromised by these agencies’ actions. Now, we must look at the effectiveness of oversight.

Two weeks ago it was unfortunate that Sen. Dianne Feinstein only cared about the CIA’s spying on American citizens when it happened to her staff. Sadly, what we saw this week is not new. The CIA has always flexed its less than moral muscle, be it the Panama invasion to oust Gen. Manuel Noriega, who it originally put in power, or the Iran-Contra Affair.  

Hopefully, the Intelligence Committee now understands that rubberstamping programs helped feed the CIA to grow into the beast it is has become.

Political intrigue should be left to Hollywood. What we need in Washington is effective governance. 

Help us continue our work with a quick
one-time or monthly donation.