From The Huffington Post:
WASHINGTON — Five months after the Senate Intelligence Committee released its gruesome report on the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program, someone is finally paying steep professional consequences. Except it’s not the former torturers. Or their superiors. Or even the CIA officials who improperly searched the computers that Senate investigators used to construct the study.
It’s the person who helped expose them.
Alissa Starzak, a former Democratic majority staffer on the Senate Intelligence Committee, played a critical and controversial role during her time on the panel: She was a lead investigator for the torture report, and was one of two staffers involved in an ongoing feud over damning internal CIA documents obtained by the committee.
Currently serving as deputy general counsel for the Defense Department, Starzak was nominated last July to serve as general counsel to the Army.
But the critics of the torture investigation — namely, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr (R-N.C.) — are orchestrating a quiet campaign to stall Starzak’s nomination.
“Lead investigator for the torture report, and was one of two staffers involved in an ongoing feud over damning internal CIA documents obtained by the committee”
Burr confirmed to The Huffington Post that he is working to keep the former investigator from getting approved by the Senate.
Opponents of the investigation already succeeded in stifling Starzak’s nomination once before. After first being submitted by the White House last July, Starzak easily cleared the Senate Armed Services Committee — then led by Democrats — by voice vote in December, even though the explosive feud over the torture report was unfolding at the time. But her nomination was held up by Senate Republicans after she passed through the Armed Services Committee.
After the nomination expired at the conclusion of the last Congress, the White House resubmitted the longtime government lawyer for the general counsel post in early January. By then, however, Republicans were in the majority. And now, the handful of GOP lawmakers familiar with Starzak’s role in the torture report drama are planning to make her and her former colleagues pay.
“I think she’s always been a little bit of leverage,” said one lawmaker familiar with the controversy over Starzak’s nomination, requesting anonymity to discuss sensitive committee matters. “This is an opportunity to figure out what happened … And I don’t know any other way to do it.”