The Central Intelligence Agency admitted Thursday to inappropriately spying on Senate Intelligence Committee computers over a report about the agency’s post-9/11 imprisonment and interrogation tactics.
Citing an internal investigation into the matter, an agency spokesman said in a statement that CIA Inspector General David Buckley found officers acted inappropriately when they accessed the computers of Senate Intelligence Committee staffers to learn the contents of a potentially damaging report on the George W. Bush administration’s war-on-terror tactics.
CIA Director John Brennan apologized to Senate Intelligence Committee members Dianne Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss over the incident, according to the New York Times, and plans to implement a review board to look deeper into how it occurred. The statement did not go into detail about the agency IG’s investigation.
The agency dug through Senate computers to find out how the committee obtained information from the agency’s internal review of its detention and interrogation programs.
The 6,300 page, four-year, $40-million report examines agency practices like waterboarding suspected terrorists during interrogations in secret “black site” overseas prisons. The classified report infers CIA purposefully misrepresented details of the programs to both the Bush administration and Congress while they were used.
Reports from March when the story broke estimate the agency likely began spying on the Senate after Sen. Mark Udall said in December that the committee was aware of an internal CIA report containing findings consistent with the Senate’s.
At the time Brennan dismissed the accusations, saying that, “When the facts come out on this, I think a lot of people who are claiming that there has been this tremendous sort of spying and monitoring and hacking will be proved wrong.”
Indiana Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh will reportedly lead the internal accountability review board.