Hey Reuters: You're Wrong. John Brennan Did Not Deny Feinstein's Claims, He Admitted To Them
from the journalism! dept
So why is it that reporters at places like Reuters are still claiming the following:
John Brennan, who has been CIA director for a year, quickly denied Feinstein's accusation on Tuesday.He did no such thing. He denied that the CIA had "hacked" the Senate staffers, which is not what Feinstein had said at all. In fact, she explicitly stated that the CIA did not hack anyone. Instead, she said that they had improperly searched the computers, which is exactly what Brennan admitted to her in his letter, which he then released to the public.
Here's the crux of Feinstein's accusation:
Shortly thereafter, on January 15, 2014, CIA Director Brennan requested an emergency meeting to inform me and Vice Chairman Chambliss that without prior notification or approval, CIA personnel had conducted a "search"—that was John Brennan's word—of the committee computers at the offsite facility. This search involved not only a search of documents provided to the committee by the CIA, but also a search of the "stand alone" and "walled-off" committee network drive containing the committee's own internal work product and communications.And here's Brennan admitting exactly that:
According to Brennan, the computer search was conducted in response to indications that some members of the committee staff might already have had access to the Internal Panetta Review. The CIA did not ask the committee or its staff if the committee had access to the Internal Review, or how we obtained it.
Instead, the CIA just went and searched the committee's computers. The CIA has still not asked the committee any questions about how the committee acquired the Panetta Review. In place of asking any questions, the CIA's unauthorized search of the committee computers was followed by an allegation—which we have now seen repeated anonymously in the press—that the committee staff had somehow obtained the document through unauthorized or criminal means, perhaps to include hacking into the CIA's computer network.
Because we were concerned that there may be a breach or vulnerability in the system for housing highly classified documents, CIA conducted a limited review to determine whether these files were located on the SSCI side of the CIA network and reviewed audit data to determine whether anyone had accessed the files, which would have been unauthorized.Is it really too much to ask the press to accurately report what Feinstein and Brennan said?