Should John Brennan Be Accountable?
Tyler Cowen’s latest “Conversations with Tyler” is an interview of former CIA Director John Brennan. If you read the whole interview, you see that Tyler has done due diligence by reading background material on Brennan.
Unfortunately, Tyler doesn’t ask him a thing about Brennan’s lying to Congress about the fact that his CIA staff, at his behest, spied on Senator Feinstein and other employees of her Senate Intelligence Committee. Conor Friedersdorf lays it out in “A Brief History of the CIA’s Unpunished Spying on the Senate,” The Atlantic, December 23, 2014.
A key paragraph from Friedersdorf’s 2014 article:
CIA Director John Brennan denied the charge. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said. “We wouldn’t do that. That’s just beyond the scope of reason in terms of what we’d do.” It would be months before his denial was publicly proved false. “An internal investigation by the C.I.A. has found that its officers penetrated a computer network used by the Senate Intelligence Committee in preparing its damning report on the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation program,” The New York Times reported. “The report by the agency’s inspector general also found that C.I.A. officers read the emails of the Senate investigators and sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department based on false information.”
Tyler Cowen has written a lot about what he calls “state capacity libertarianism,” which he favors. In this post, he lists 11 propositions about state capacity libertarianism. None of the 11 seems to involve holding government officials accountable for mistakes and lies. But I would think that a state capacity libertarian would see that as important.
Apparently not, at least from its main proponent.