Senate Intelligence Committee Members Ask White House For Official Apology From CIA For Hacking Senate Computers

from the CIA:-it's-time-to-let-unacknowledged-wrongdoing-remain-unacknowledged dept

Ron Wyden, Martin Heinrich and Mazie Hirono -- all members of Senate Intelligence Committee -- have sent a letter to the President demanding an official apology from CIA head John Brennan for the agency's surveillance of Senate staffers working on the Torture Report.

"In January 2014, CIA personnel conducted an unauthorized, unprecedented search of Senate committee files, including the emails and other files of Senate staff investigating the CIA's use of torture," says the letter...

"The CIA Inspector General stated in a July 2014 report that this search involved 'improper agency access to [Senate Intelligence Committee] files.' A review board selected by CIA Director Brennan concluded in December 2014 that this CIA search 'resulted in inappropriate access to [Senate Intelligence Committee] work product'."

[...]

"We believe that it is necessary for you to ensure that senior officials in your administration recognize the importance of adhering to the rule of law," the lawmakers wrote to Obama. "We ask that you instruct Director Brennan to acknowledge that the CIA's unauthorized search of Senate files was improper and will not be repeated."
The White House and CIA have yet to comment on the letter and there's nothing in the history of the incident that suggests either will move forward on this. Obama's on short time and the CIA already cleared itself of all wrongdoing with an in-house "investigation" and further showed its disdain for independent oversight by throwing its Inspector General and his report on the spying efforts under the bus.

Jason Leopold and Vice obtained hundreds of documents through FOIA requests that appeared to show the opposite of what the CIA's internal investigation claimed. But it was the CIA that had the last word, proclaiming itself innocent and simultaneously accusing Senate staffers of improperly accessing restricted documents.

But the most damning document -- at least in the context of a demand for an official apology from the CIA -- was the apology the agency unofficially disavowed when it cleared itself of hacking allegations.
[T]he documents turned over to VICE News included a July 28, 2014 letter from Brennan that was addressed to Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss, who was then the ranking Republican on the Intelligence Committee, in which he apologized to them and admitted that the CIA's penetration of the computer network used by committee staffers reviewing the agency's torture program was improper.
The thing is, Brennan never signed or sent this apology. It just sat in a Torture Report-related file until it was FOIAed. Brennan even offered a closed-door, off-the-record apology to Dianne Feinstein, but to date, the final official word remains the CIA's: we did nothing wrong.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Pixelation, Jan 22nd, 2016 @ 6:37pm

    Blackmail next

    Dear Senate Intelligence Committee, Please retract your apology request or we will be forced to release information that has "come to out attention".

    Thanks,

    CIA

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

  2. identicon
    Tom Stone, Jan 22nd, 2016 @ 6:42pm

    The "Rule of Law"?
    This is the 21st Century, not the 18th.

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

  3. icon
    That One Guy (profile), Jan 23rd, 2016 @ 12:44am

    While they're asking for the impossible...

    They should request the following:

    -Pot of genuine leprechaun gold.
    -An honest politician.
    -Gold dust covered pony with diamond hooves that can flawlessly since Italian opera.
    -A ham sandwich, with chips and a drink.

    Least that way they might get a light meal from their request.

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 23rd, 2016 @ 1:49am

    And across the street we have the FBI distributing child pornography. Now I understand the need for a wall at the southern border, it will be built to keep us in.

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

  5. identicon
    Median Wilfred, Jan 23rd, 2016 @ 8:13am

    CIA's motivation in all this oddness?

    I'm not sure I understand the CIA's position or motivation in all this. Sure, they don't want to be tried for torturing prisoners, that would be un-American. But it's pretty clear that the CIA does torture prisoners, all we're missing is a public admission, or a guilty verdict.

    But why the offer of an off-the-record personal apology? Why bother? Why the whitewash about torture, if the CIA's own internal studies done before 9/11 said that torture just didn't work?

    Is the CIA a totally rogue agency? They used to be the President's private secret army, but surely this whole thing indicates they've grown beyond that.

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 23rd, 2016 @ 11:25am

    Re: Blackmail next

    The CIA would simply ask for additional funding to not reveal whatever has came to their attention.

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 23rd, 2016 @ 11:37am

    Nothing to do with laws

    They don't care that the CIA broke the law, they are just pissed off that they got spied on.

    If they cared about laws being broken they would be pushing for criminal charges. Quite telling that they only want criminal charges brought against people who reveal the illegal acts instead of those committing them.

    This is what they truly wanted to say:
    "We believe that it is necessary for you to ensure that senior officials in your administration recognize our power to remove their funding."

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

  8. identicon
    jim robinson, Jan 23rd, 2016 @ 2:16pm

    Sign the petition

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

  9. identicon
    christopher, Jan 23rd, 2016 @ 2:26pm

    torture

    working for the CIA is an automatic death sentence. I do not
    trust CIA and I want nothing to do with CIA. CIA is responsible for the death of my brother and almost had me assassinated several times which required surgery. I almost died because of CIA. I was tortured by CIA for several years
    which was extremely painful. I am an innocent man who happens to be a visible minority. I want CIA destroyed because of what they did to me and my family. I am not a terrorist or KKK radical extremists. CIA destroyed my privacy and reputation. I want justice and revenge.

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

  10. identicon
    Michael, Jan 23rd, 2016 @ 4:14pm

    Ron Wyden, Martin Heinrich, and Mazie Hirono,

    We apologize for discovering that you are addicted to porn, bisexual, and have an embarrassing sexually transmitted disease respectively. While we had the best of intentions in protecting US citizens from harm, we overstepped our bounds when we discovered all of the secrets that we have outlined in schedule A of this apology letter.


    Deepest Regrets,

    Central Intelligence

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

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 23rd, 2016 @ 4:47pm

    So the CIA did nothing wrong.

    You know who else did nothing wrong?

    Hitler.

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

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 23rd, 2016 @ 6:32pm

    Re:

    Oh, come on. If you're going to Godwin a thread, at least have some subtlety.

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

  13. identicon
    Mark Wing, Jan 23rd, 2016 @ 11:09pm

    If there's one thing the CIA is all about, it's the rule of law.

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

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2016 @ 3:06am

    Re: Blackmail next

    Pssh the CIA will just murder a few Senators/Congressmen.
    Not like they haven't done that a few dozen times before (usually once the target is out of office on on international diplomacy so they can blame 'an accident').

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

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2016 @ 3:07am

    Re:

    FBI don't need to distribute child pornography. They own most of the major dark web illegal porn/drug sites and have done since around 2003.

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

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2016 @ 5:50am

    Re: Re: Blackmail next

    Maybe get a hold of some of that Polonium-210 stuff to pour into the water on the Hill? That'll kill two birds with one stone.

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

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2016 @ 3:41pm

    Re: Re:

    Hitler jokes have evolved since the Usenet days. These days it's "Hitler did nothing wrong." It's a common trolling phrase, but also an in-group joke to be laughed at by those "in-the-know".

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

  18. identicon
    Mark Wing, Jan 25th, 2016 @ 1:11am

    You know who else did nothing wrong? Godwin.

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

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2016 @ 5:39am

    Dear Senate...

    ...Either you approve of the govt agencies snooping in everybody's 'stuff', or you don't.

    Today, you just happen to be part of 'everybody'. That part, actually, I am in favor of.

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

  20. icon
    DannyB (profile), Jan 25th, 2016 @ 6:06am

    An official apology

    Dear Senate Intelligence Committee

    The White House sincerely regrets that those who were harmed by our actions had to discover that it was the white house who was to blame.

    We ask for your forgiveness and pledge that in the future we will not get caught doing anything like this ever again.

    We are deeply sorry that bad judgment and poor choice of actions resulted in personal embarrassment for the white house and many others who assisted in committing these terrible crimes.

    The white house takes full responsibility for negligence and lack of diligent care to ensure that we would not get caught. You have my personal assurance that we will be much more careful next time.

    To all of those who were hurt by our inappropriate, selfish and thoughtless actions I would like to humbly offer my sincerest indifference.

    Sincerely

    The President of the United States

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

  21. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2016 @ 6:45am

    "We believe that it is necessary for you to ensure that senior officials in your administration recognize the importance of adhering to the rule of law,"

    The White House responds:
    http://gamingdeath.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Money-Hat-1.jpg

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

  22. icon
    Legion2k13 (profile), Jan 25th, 2016 @ 8:43am

    What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Spying is essential to America's National Security.

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

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2016 @ 9:16am

    Re: While they're asking for the impossible...

    Think there is about 6 honest and trustworthy politicians left in the states

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


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