The CIA’s New BFF

John Hudson explains what a GOP Senate might mean for the torture report:

If the Nov. 4 elections deliver a GOP-controlled Senate, the chairmanship of the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee is likely to go to a North Carolinian whose unwavering support for the CIA and NSA could radically transform the committee’s oversight agenda.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), an outspoken defender of enhanced interrogation techniques and broad government surveillance powers, is next in line for the chairmanship. Unlike the current Democratic head of the committee, Dianne Feinstein of California, Burr has been harshly critical of a yet-to-be-released report on the Bush administration’s post-9/11 torture practices — a view shared by many in the agency.

And although Burr’s views about NSA data collection largely mirror Feinstein’s, his distaste for publicity and devotion to secrecy could fundamentally alter the way the committee operates on a day-to-day basis.