CIA’s Brennan Apologizes for Cracking Into Senate Computers

John Brennan, the head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), apologized to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feintstein, a Democrat from California, and Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss, a Republican from Georgia, for CIA agents improperly accessing Senate computers. In March, Chairman Feinstein delivered a blistering speech on the Senate Floor accusing the spy agency of snooping on her staff as they investigated interrogation techniques used during the Bush Administration. She claimed the CIA had removed files from Senate computers that staff were reviewing.

An inspector general has found “that some CIA employees acted in a manner inconsistent with the common understanding” between the Senate Intelligence Committee and the agency, according to Dean Boyd, the CIA’s spokesman. The inspector general report implicated “10 agency employees, including two attorneys and three computer specialists, who had searched the committee’s files and read some of the staff’s e-mails on computers that were supposed to be exclusively for committee investigators”, according to The Washington Post, which obtained a summary of the document.

Chairman Feinstein said the CIA’s actions were “in violation of the constitutional separation of powers”. John Brennan has referred the matter to an accountability board under the direction of former Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, who sat on the Intelligence Committee. Chairman Feinstein said the apology and referral “are positive first steps” to repairing the damage caused by CIA officials.

The Hill: CIA Admits to Spying on Senate

National Journal: CIA Admits to Hacking Senate Computers

The Washington Post: CIA Director John Brennan Apologizes for Search of Senate Computers

Who Will the Millenials Support?

The Millenials, those born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s, make up the youngest group of voters, and many pundits frequently attempt to predict their voting habits. Much to the analysts’ chagrin, these voters don’t seem to fall neatly into either political party. For instance, surveys suggest that they are socially more progressive than their parents, but also more conservative fiscally. On the other hand, even within the generation there seems to be a divide. Older Millenials seem to have supported President Barack Obama in the last election, whereas their younger counterparts favored Mitt Romney. “Millennials are still forming their identities. They are still figuring out what they want”, City Journal’s Matthew Hennessey writes.

City Journal: Mad About Millenials

Reinvigorating Federalism

The Framers of the U.S. Constitution established a separation of powers between the Federal and state governments. However, today, state governments are often being coerced into carrying out policies established by the Federal, write Richard Epstein and Mario Loyola. The Federal government induces states into participating in programs by granting money in exchange for carrying out certain policies. Even if state leaders do not want to participate, they are hard pressed to reject the funding because their citizens are taxed regardless. The funding levels are significant: According to the authors, on average, 30 percent of state budgets come from the Federal government. “The mounting federal takeover of the states started slowly during the New Deal and has intensified substantially, especially in recent years. That inexorable trend is leading to unsustainable levels of government spending and a regulatory regime that grows more intrusive and oppressive by the day. One solution is paramount: Strengthen the vital but oft-neglected separation of federal and state governments”, they conclude.

The Atlantic: The United State of America

And for our latest post: Supreme Court on Recess Appointments: The President Loses, Congress Partially Wins