An internal CIA investigation confirmed allegations that agency personnel improperly intruded into a protected database used by Senate Intelligence Committee staff to compile a scathing report on the agency’s detention and interrogation program.
Buckley’s inquiry also determined that a CIA crimes report to the Justice Department alleging that the panel staff removed classified documents from a top-secret facility without authorization was based on “inaccurate information,” according to a summary of the findings prepared for the Senate and House intelligence committees and released by the CIA.
In other conclusions, Buckley found that CIA security officers conducted keyword searches of the emails of staffers of the committee’s Democratic majority _ and reviewed some of them _ and that the three CIA information technology specialists showed “a lack of candor” in interviews with Buckley’s office.
The inspector general’s summary did not say who may have ordered the intrusion or when senior CIA officials learned of it.
The findings confirmed charges by the committee chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., that the CIA intruded into the database that by agreement was to be used by her staffers compiling the report on the harsh interrogation methods used by the agency on suspected terrorists held in secret overseas prisons under the George W. Bush administration.
Another committee member, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and some civil rights groups called for a fuller investigation.
The demands clash with a desire by President Barack Obama, other lawmakers and the CIA to move beyond the controversy over the “enhanced interrogation program” after Feinstein releases her committee’s report, which could come as soon as next week.
Brennan briefed Feinstein and Chambliss on Buckley’s conclusions and apologized to them for the improper intrusion into the database, CIA spokesman Dean Boyd said in a statement.
“The director . . . apologized to them for such actions by CIA officers as described in the OIG (Office of Inspector General) report,” he said.
Brennan will submit Buckley’s findings to an accountability board chaired by retired Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, who served on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Boyd said.
“This board will review the OIG report, conduct interviews as needed, and provide the director with recommendations that, depending on its findings, could include potential disciplinary measures and/or steps to address systemic issues,” Boyd said.