California Senator Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate intelligence committee, has come out swinging over an ongoing, years-long conflict her committee has been having with the CIA over their attempts to oversee and review the agency's detention programs. She gave a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday in which she revealed for the first time that the CIA had improperly removed unspecified documents from computers that committee staff members were using to conduct a review in 2010, as the NYT reports. “I am not taking it lightly,” she said.

There was also a revelation last week that the CIA had conducted separate searches of her committee's computers in order to find out how they had obtained some internal agency documents that they've cited in their review — something which which Feinstein calls a pure intimidation tactic, insisting that the documents were part of the millions of pages her committee had been given to conduct their review. Feinstein is calling this "a defining moment for the oversight of American spy agencies."

The mystery here has to do with what type of documents are/were at issue, but signs point to this all being about protecting the spy agency from allegations of brutality in their interrogations. Feinstein also referred to a decision to destroy some 2005 videotapes of Qaeda detainees being interrogated.

Though the detention program officially ended in 2009, Guantanamo Bay remains open and major questions remain about the treatment of prisoners in federal detention.

[Washington Post]