updated 03:37 pm EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Senate Intelligence Committee's computers were accessed states internal investigation
It turns out that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) did in fact access Senate computers in an improper fashion, as they have been accused of earlier this year. Back in March, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) claimed that the intelligence agency had accessed the computers of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, searching for a document relating to research into the agency's detention and interrogation program.
In a speech to the Senate on March 11, Senator Feinstein accused the CIA of accessing a network of computers that was setup in 2009 for the committee to review 6.2 million pages of documents regarding circumstances and procedures of the agency's detention program.
Stating that several documents were removed without authorization beginning in 2010, Feinstien challenged the authority and legal standing the agency had to take such actions. The CIA responded after the first set of files went missing, pointing the blame to other parties. Later, the CIA was said to have searched for a document called the "Internal Panetta Review," in the segregated network that was supposedly "walled-off" from the CIA, as well as Senate documents stored on the same machines. The CIA admitted to no wrongdoing at the time.
McClatchyDC reports today that an internal investigation by the CIA indicates that parties within the organization did in fact access the computers that the Senate was using to create a report on the detention and interrogation program. CIA Director John Brennan was said to have directly informed Senator Feinstein and Senate Select Committee Vice Chaiman Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) of the findings.
Spokesman for the CIA Dean Body said that Brennan issued an apology over the actions of the CIA officers involved. The report found that "some CIA employees acted in a manner inconsistent with the common understanding reached between SSCI (Senate Select Committee on Intelligence) and the CIA in 2009." The report is going to be submitted to a board, led by former Senator Even Bayh.
"The investigation confirmed what I said on the Senate floor in March: CIA personnel inappropriately searched Senate Intelligence Committee computers in violation of an agreement we had reached, and I believe in violation of the Constitutional separation of powers," said Feinstein. She added that the report should be made public sometime soon.