In an opinion editorial published in the Chicago Sun-Times titled “Going after the CIA’s new family jewels,” Ripon College President Zach Messitte argues for a fundamental shift in intelligence oversight “that better informs the public and conforms U.S. policy to U.S. values.”
The op-ed, co-authored by DC lawyer David Halperin, is in response to public comments made in March by Senator Diane Feinstein, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chair, regarding her “grave concerns” over the CIA’s withholding of information, intimidation of committee staff and possible unlawful search and seizure of secret documents stored in her committee’s chamber.
“Senator Diane Feinstein is justifiably trying to take the CIA and its Director, John Brennan, back to the future with a public shaming that could to lead to a rebalancing of power between Congress and the intelligence community. The shift is long overdue,” write Messitte and Halperin.
“Breaking into congressional files, stealing documents, and sabotaging an investigation seems like the stuff of two generations ago. So what’s going on? The exposure of the CIA’s new family jewels is at stake, and the revelations have the potential to fundamentally readjust the balance of power between Congress and the CIA, in a way that better informs the public and conforms U.S. policy to U.S. values. Let’s hope that is exactly what happens.”
Messitte was a press spokesman for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence from 1990-1993, Halperin served as the committee’s counsel from 1991-1993.