CIA-Senate rift bares institutional failings


WASHINGTON (AP) — The standoff between the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee has bared long-standing institutional failures and simmering tensions.

In the aftermath of Sen. Dianne Feinstein's accusations last week of CIA intimidation and a breach of constitutional authority in filing a criminal complaint against congressional aides, observers say the U.S. intelligence community and its congressional minders both committed serious missteps over the 13 years since the 9/11 terror attacks.

Key lapses stand out: Congress' hesitance in the immediate aftermath of the attacks to hold the intelligence community and Bush administration accountable. The CIA's over-reaction and failure to navigate rising doubts in Congress. Hidden clashes between Senate investigators and CIA briefers. President Barack Obama's distance as relations deteriorated. And the government's sluggishness in adapting to the American public's easing national security fears.

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