Apology letter written for illegally spying on the senate By CIA accidentally released
The documents of the US government that were expected to remain out of reach in the coming years have been got hold of by Jason Leopold of FOIA staffers. The CIA would have definitely thought that one of the documents would remain its little secret for the coming years.
On July 28, 2014, the CIA director wrote a letter to senators Dianne Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss — the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee (SSCI) and the panel’s ranking Republican, respectively. In it, he admitted that the CIA’s penetration of the computer network used by committee staffers reviewing the agency’s torture program — a breach for which Feinstein and Chambliss had long demanded accountability — was improper and violated agreements the Intelligence Committee had made with the CIA.
However, the letter was never sent. The CIA threw out its Inspector General’s report on the breach and instead charged the Senate of immodesty and carried out an in-house “investigation” clearing the CIA of illegal behavior.
The letter was never sent or signed by Brennan. In the hope that the letter would never been seen again, it was filed somewhere away in the CIA’s archives. However, it was accidentally handed over to Jason Leopold much to the CIA’s embarrassment resulting in additional humiliation.
After VICE News received the documents, the CIA contacted us and said Brennan’s draft letter had been released by mistake. The agency asked that we refrain from posting it.
We declined the CIA’s request.
No official confirmation has come yet from CIA regarding any wrongdoing (such as the document it did not want to be released but entered into the public record), and still, there’s an acknowledgement of guilt in the hands of the public. Senator Feinstein asserted that everything that could be violated in a single act was violated making it a little difficult to defend actions.
Feinstein wrote to Brennan on January 23, 2014 and told him she consulted with the Senate’s legal counsel, who informed her that the CIA’s search of the Senate’s computer network “may have been inconsistent with the separation of powers principles embodied in the Constitution and essential to effective congressional oversight of intelligence activities.”
“Second,” her letter continued, “the search may have violated the Fourth Amendment, the Speech and Debate Clause of the Constitution, various statutes (including federal criminal statutes, such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and Executive Order 12333,” which says it’s unlawful for the CIA to conduct domestic spying.
It looks like someone in the CIA already knew that what it did was clearly wrong and also probably illegal; however, the top management was persistent on not accepting it, as a result, that it even did not send an apology letter. It would have remained a complete secret had not someone mistakenly goofed up and handed over the unsigned letter in a FOIA response deposit.