CIA's Senate 'Hacking' Due To Miscommunication, Review Board Decides

| by Sean Kelly
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A Central Intelligence Agency review board cleared the agency of any wrongdoing in the case of the hacking of Senate computers during an investigation of Bush-era torture programs.

The review board, according to ARS Technica, concluded that there was a simple miscommunication in that agents believed they were legally allowed to search the computers.

“The board found that no discipline was warranted for the five CIA personnel under review because they acted reasonably under the complex and unprecedented circumstances involved in investigating a potential security breach in the highly classified shared computer network, while also striving to maintain the sanctity of [committee] work product,” the board said in a statement issued Wednesday. “Because there was no formal agreement—or even clear common understanding—governing the procedures to be followed in investigating a potential security incident in these circumstances, no course of action was free of potential complication or conflict."

Despite the findings, many senators believe the CIA should still be held accountable.

“Let me be clear: I continue to believe CIA's actions constituted a violation of the constitutional separation of powers and unfortunately led to the CIA's referral of unsubstantiated criminal charges to the Justice Department against committee staff,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein said. “I'm thankful that Director [John] Brennan has apologized for these actions, but I'm disappointed that no one at the CIA will be held accountable. The decision was made to search committee computers, and someone should be found responsible for those actions."

Sen. Ron Wyden, also dismissed the clearing. “It is unreal that no one at CIA is being held accountable for hacking into Senate computers,” Wyden tweeted. “CIA Director [Brennan] refuses to say what rules apply to the CIA. I'm going to make sure his stonewalling ends.”

Sources: ARS Technica, National Journal / Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons