If the CIA and the Justice Department were to get married, what kind of kids might the odd couple have?
One answer: Spies who’d believe that they possess the legal smarts to talk their way out of nearly anything.
When The Wall Street Journal reported late last year that the Justice Department was operating airplanes that flew across the land carrying devices mimicking cell towers scooping up details about the mobile phones of innocent citizens below – normal people who were accused of nothing, suspected of nothing, all in the name of tracking a few criminal suspects – we said in this space that the program was fundamentally anti-democratic. It was, plainly stated, un-American.
To have the authorities flying over the land and sweeping up information about the citizenry – even if it was in the name of locating a few bad actors – treated ordinary people like outlaws. We asked at the time – and we’ll ask again now – what becomes of the data that the Justice Department gathers? Who has access to it? How long is it retained?
Now comes a new report in the Journal detailing the CIA’s work with Justice. The U.S. Department of Justice is supposed to be working to enforce the law, not seeking to find novel ways to spy on the people. And our nation’s Central Intelligence Agency, established in 1947, was created to watch over the doings in foreign lands, not to aid Justice in spying on the American citizens.
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