It’s been all over the news lately (in the corners of the news that I read, at least) that Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has blasted the CIA over alleged surveillance of Senate offices. This is, of course, significant and welcome; Sen. Feinstein has been one of the most vocal defenders of the Obama Administration’s surveillance programs, and any prominent voice against them is, obviously, a step in the right direction.
This is also craven and hypocritical.
Senator Feinstein (who was my very own home senator for twenty years) is the latest politician to embrace what Andrew Napolitano called in Reason “freedom for me, but not for thee.” The fact of that matter is that Senator Feinstein has been the chairperson of United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence since 2009; she has vigorously supported the NSA’s leaked surveillance programs and the general clandestine foreign policy of the last decade or so. For her to come around on unconstitutional surveillance now, and not a year ago, nor five years ago, nor ten, is entirely because, like Napolitano and others have pointed out, now it effects her. Politicians like Feinstein have no problem with surveillance when it’s you; when it’s them, though, it’s a tragedy. It’s this attitude that needs changing, in both parties, across the political spectrum, whether it’s Senator Feinstein or Senator John McCain, in Congress, before any real progress towards liberty is made.