CIA Admits Improper Snooping on Network Used by Senate Intelligence Committee
The New York Times has details on a statement made today by the CIA, summarizing the Inspector General’s report on the CIA’s snooping on a computer network used by the Sentate Intelligence Committee.
WASHINGTON — An internal investigation by the Central Intelligence Agency has found that its officers improperly penetrated a computer network used by the Senate Intelligence Committee to prepare its damning report on the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation program.
The report by the agency’s inspector general found that C.I.A. officers created a fake online identity to gain access on more than one occasion to computers used by members of the committee staff, and tried to cover their movements as they rooted around the system, according to an official with knowledge of the investigation’s findings.
A statement issued Thursday morning by a C.I.A. spokesman said that John O. Brennan, the agency’s director, had apologized to the two senior members of the intelligence committee and would set up an internal accountability board to review the issue. The statement said that the board, which will be led by former Senator Evan Bayh, an Indiana Democrat, could recommend “potential disciplinary measures” and “steps to address systemic issues.”
The Department of Justice has declined to investigate this issue, but it really shouldn’t stop here. It’s an outrageous misuse of the CIA’s powers, and CIA head John Brennan basically lied outright when asked a direct question about the allegations made by Sen. Dianne Feinstein. David Corn asks the next question: Should Obama Fire His CIA Chief for Misleading the Public About the Senate Spying Scandal?
There’s one detail that is being generally ignored in most of the reports so far: the CIA actually supplied the computers and operated the network the Senate Intelligence Committee was using, so suggesting this involved “hacking” is completely off-base.
But that doesn’t change the fact that it was still an egregious violation of the Senate’s privacy.