DOJ Won't Pursue Case Against CIA For Spying On Senate Staffers Or Against Senate Staffers For Handling CIA Documents

from the because-that-would-involve-work dept

As you may recall, a few months back, a big story broke involving the CIA spying on Senate Intelligence Committee staffers who were investigating the CIA's torture program. The details revealed that in the course of their investigation, the CIA had given the staffers an internal document they didn't think they'd given them, which revealed that an internal CIA analysis more or less agreed with the Senate analysis (which has been described as "scathing"). This was a very different position than what the CIA had said publicly. After some in the Senate had asked for the "full report" rather than the draft that the staffers had been given, the CIA believed (incorrectly it appears) that the staffers had gotten access to unauthorized classified materials, and searched the special private network that had been set up just for those staffers. This happened after previous problems with the CIA doing questionable things concerning the Senate staffers network.

In the end, both sides asked the DOJ to investigate the other side. The DOJ has now said that it won't pursue either claim:
"The department carefully reviewed the matters referred to us and did not find sufficient evidence to warrant a criminal investigation," said Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr.
Perhaps this isn't too surprising. The fact that the CIA itself handed the document to the staffers made that claim a pretty clear dead end. However, the CIA searching through the staffers' computer network always seemed a lot more questionable, but perhaps not criminal. It seems likely that the DOJ realized that to pursue either side in this would create a huge political mess, and it was just easier to let the case go, and let the two sides continue to glare angrily at each other.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Padpaw (profile), Jul 11th, 2014 @ 9:13am

    Here I thought it was because Eric Holder is a criminal that ignores the crimes of the current administration in return for bribes and favours.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Digger, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 9:28am

    Great - no one can be charged with hacking ever again.

    Thank you DOJ.

    By choosing not to prosecute the CIA for hacking government official's and staff's computers, you've decided that the anti-hacking laws can never be used to prosecute anyone else ever again.

    Way to go DOJ!! Woo-Hoo...

    Fucking idiots.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 9:34am

    If only Aaron Swartz had gotten the same response from the DOJ...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 9:39am

    Re: Great - no one can be charged with hacking ever again.

    Now do the CIA's actions qualify as a crime under the Espionage Act?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jul 11th, 2014 @ 9:54am

    So, the executive branch orders and performs questionable searches of people working for the legislative branch, then another part of the executive branch investigates and decides not to prosecute.

    Great to see our system of checks and balances working out so well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jul 11th, 2014 @ 10:00am

    Re:

    Little of column A, little of column B...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 11:00am

    1 Eric Holder can't do his fucking job.

    2 This is no different than 99% of the time that federal agencies do an 'investigation' and rule that there was 'no wrong doing'.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    John Cressman, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 11:17am

    4th Branch of Government

    We need a fourth branch of government... the inquisitor branch. It will be there only duty to investigate any wrong doing or abuse of power of any of the other branchs and have the full power to remove the official temporarily or permanently...

    Penalty for abuse of power - DEATH.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    RD, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 11:37am

    Re:

    "If only Aaron Swartz had gotten the same response from the DOJ..."

    Aaron Swartz was a "little people." Only little people are subject to laws. The ogliarchs, the elite, the politicians, the captains of industry and banksters are all immune. The rule of law no longer exists, at least not for all people equally. Now you have the Lords and the Serfs, and the Serfs will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the corrupt law as possible for even the *slightest* infraction, where the Lords can openly flaunt their violation of the same laws and have everyone (such as the DOJ) simply turn their back and do nothing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 11th, 2014 @ 11:51am

    What about proper oversight going forward?

    Will the DOJ ensure that going forward the Senate Intelligence Committee will operate within the bounds set by the CIA?

    Or will the DOJ allow Senators to run amok?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 11th, 2014 @ 11:53am

    Re: 4th Branch of Government

    I think we already have that branch of government right now.

    It is just that their definition of 'wrong doing' is very different from that of the ordinary common citizen.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 11th, 2014 @ 11:54am

    Re:

    Eric Holder is probably doing exactly what the powers that be want him to do.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re:

    The first rule of the star chamber is that there are no prosecutions, only chiding for getting caught by the media.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    orbitalinsertion (profile), Jul 11th, 2014 @ 12:04pm

    Re: 4th Branch of Government

    Return offices like the GAO to their heyday and give them power. So they can make recommendations with an iron fist.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    orbitalinsertion (profile), Jul 11th, 2014 @ 12:06pm

    I suppose that even though this is now public knowledge, officially none of this happened, and in the end everyone's final findings will be that "maybe some mistakes were made, but there is nothing conclusive". And anyone who "believes" otherwise is some total conspiracy nut.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    any moose cow word, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 12:18pm

    This is why we have no real accountability. One part lets another's BS side so that when the situations are reversed they'll reciprocate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 1:00pm

    This has to be the first time the DOJ has refused to use the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). They happily used it to beat Aaron Swartz over the head. But when it comes to the CIA and Senate, the DOJ just lets it slide.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 7:22pm

    had there been a single, perhaps ordinary person involved here, the DoJ would have gone ballistic and pursued that person until their life was in tatters!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    k-h, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 11:06pm

    So some people are just ...

    too powerful to be held to account.

    Where have I heard something like that before?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2014 @ 11:13pm

    Re: 4th Branch of Government

    I didn't expect this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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