CIA Denied, Now Admits Hacking U.S. Senate Computers

| by Michael Allen

In March of this year, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) claimed that CIA Director John Brennan mentioned to her in January that the Central Intelligence Agency had searched U.S. Senate computers. The searches occurred during a government investigation into the CIA's torture and rendition tactics under the Bush administration.

"The CIA did not ask the committee or its staff if the committee had access to the internal review or how we obtained it," Sen. Feinstein said. "Instead, the CIA just went and searched the committee's computer."

According to CNN, Brennan told the Council on Foreign Relations at the time, "As far as the allegations of CIA hacking into Senate computers, nothing could be further from the truth. We wouldn't do that. I mean that's, that's, that's just beyond the scope of reason."

Brennan also claimed that he was "deeply dismayed" that some U.S. senators made "spurious allegations about CIA actions that are wholly unsupported by the facts."

However, today, Brennan admitted the CIA hacked into computers used by U.S. Senate staffers in an effort to spy on the investigation, notes the National Journal.

According to CIA agency spokesman Dean Boyd, Brennan admitted that CIA employees "acted in a manner inconsistent with the common understanding" per a report by the CIA inspector general.

Boyd told the Associated Press today that Brennan has convened a nameless CIA accountability board to investigate the CIA employees and discipline them, if need be.

The U.S. Justice Department refused to launch a criminal probe of the CIA employees, even though it charged National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden for similar types of hacking. Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for similar hacking.

Sources: Associated Press, CNN, National Journal (Image Credit: CIA News & Information)