There are reports that my Senator, the icy Diane Feinstein, is pissed that the President-elect has named Leon Panetta as C.I.A. director. Panetta is an outsider to the C.I.A., however much of a Washington insider he is. He has been critical of the Bush torture regime.
DiFi's pique matters in this because she's the incoming chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia is not pleased either. He was the previous chair. He had this exchange with reporter Elana Schor:
These two seem to have a bee in their bonnets. Other members of the Intelligence Committees seem fine with the nomination.
I write my Senator all the time, so I wasn't surprised to get an email from DiFi today.
But I sure was surprised that it was about her effort last August to limit U.S. interrogation tactics to what's in the Army Field Manual -- that is, to get the U.S. out of the torture business and into compliance with international law.
I wonder: why does she want to burnish her anti-torture credentials at the moment? Is Panetta, as is rumored, going to learn that the two dyspeptic Senators signed off on past C.I.A. torture which he seems charged to clean up?
Will we ever know?