“World War III”: CIA fires back at Senate Intel Committee by accusing staffers of stealing secret documents

posted at 11:21 am on March 6, 2014 by Allahpundit

A total fiasco. If you missed Ed’s posts about it yesterday, make sure to read them now — especially the one in which Democrat Mark Udall wonders if the CIA monitored investigative activity by the committee with Obama’s knowledge. Quickie background: The Intel Committee’s spent $40 million investigating CIA interrogation techniques under Bush. As part of the investigation, they asked to review top-secret documents held at CIA HQ. The CIA agreed and set aside some computers for them at Langley to access the document database — and, if committee members are to be believed, then proceeded to secretly monitor the process to see which docs committee staffers were looking at. Can the executive branch spy on the legislative branch? More specifically, can an executive agency spy on its own oversight committee in Congress?

The CIA’s rebuttal to all this: Why beat up on us when the committee’s stealing documents?

The CIA disputed significant portions of the committee’s findings in its official response to the report, which it submitted in June, three months after the deadline set by the committee. The agency also disputes that it conducted an internal review of the detention and interrogation program, asserting that it only compiled summaries of documents provided to the committee and not an analytical report.

Several months after the CIA submitted its official response to the committee report, aides discovered in the database of top-secret documents at CIA headquarters a draft of an internal review ordered by former CIA Director Leon Panetta of the materials released to the panel, said the knowledgeable person.

They determined that it showed that the CIA leadership disputed report findings that they knew were corroborated by the so-called Panetta review, said the knowledgeable person.

The aides printed the material, walked out of CIA headquarters with it and took it to Capitol Hill, said the knowledgeable person.

In other words, the CIA challenged the Intel Committee’s findings on enhanced interrogation even though those findings were allegedly confirmed by its own internal Panetta-led review. They lied, flat out — if the committee is to be believed. Having stumbled across the review, and probably fearing that the document would be wiped from the database if they didn’t obtain hard proof immediately, the committee’s investigators evidently decided to break protocol and print out a hard copy of the smoking gun to take with them. And not without reason: Per McClatchy, White House officials are mystified as to why the Panetta review was included in the document database that was made available to committee staffers — which sounds like they fully intended to hide the review’s findings from the committee if they could have. Have we really reached the point in Obama’s counterterrorism evolution where he’s trying to cover up CIA malfeasance on enhanced interrogation from Democratic investigators?

No wonder war analogies are being thrown around:

Senators on Wednesday expressed alarm at explosive allegations that the CIA might have spied on their computers to keep tabs on their controversial review of Bush-era “enhanced interrogation” techniques…

“I’m assuming that’s it’s not true, but if it is true, it should be World War III in terms of Congress standing up for itself against the CIA, ” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told The Hill…

Sen. Mark Udall (Colo.) and two other Democrats on the Intelligence panel have criticized the CIA and its director, John Brennan, for blocking their efforts to declassify the 6,300-page investigation.

“The CIA tried to intimidate the Intelligence Committee, plain and simple,” Udall said. “I’m going to keep fighting like hell to make sure the CIA never dodges congressional oversight again.”

You know Obama’s in a jam when even Grahamnesty isn’t willing to back presidential power in a matter related to surveillance and counterterrorism. One thing that’s unclear to me in all this, though, is the precise timeline. Did the CIA somehow discover that staffers had stolen the Panetta review and then start monitoring their computer use at Langley? Or were they monitoring their computers all along and that’s how they discovered that the review had been accessed and printed? Might not matter legally, but it’ll matter for spin purposes now that this is a PR war.

Exit question: If the decision on whether to release the CIA report ends up coming to a vote of the entire Senate, which way will Republicans vote? The instinct, I assume, will be to protect the agency (and Bush) in aggressively fighting counterterrorism by voting not to release it, but now that there’s evidence that the agency (and Obama) might be behaving inappropriately in trying to suppress it, that points to voting yes. Which way?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Exit question: If the decision on whether to release the CIA report ends up coming to a vote of the entire Senate, which way will Republicans vote?

With Their Leader, Harry Reid of course …

ShainS on March 6, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Today’s CIA is the CYA, diminished…once…way cool institution, like all else under obama.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2014 at 11:24 AM

It’s okay…Dear Leader breaks the law all the time.

d1carter on March 6, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Bring it on!

Privatize It on March 6, 2014 at 11:27 AM

I was wondering why the drone was flying over the capitol.

Sven on March 6, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Can Does the executive branch spy on the legislative branch? More specifically, can an executive agency spy on its own oversight committee in Congress?

Heh, and scumhag Debs Waterman Schultzy compares the Cummings theater to the real freedom-fighters.

Hon, look into all the freak shows in DC, top to bottom.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2014 at 11:28 AM

I’ll decide if Obama was wrong after someone shows me the SCOTUS ruling.

rogerb on March 6, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Can Does the executive branch spy on the legislative branch? More specifically, can does an executive agency spy on its own oversight committee in Congress?

Now it’s accurate.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Okay, I’ll repeat the question I asked yesterday.

WHO IN THE HELL IS LOOKING FOR THE TERRORISTS? Seems like the rat-eared wonder only is interested in domestic spying, undermining a co-equal branch of government, and killing Americans without benefit of due process.

Happy Nomad on March 6, 2014 at 11:29 AM

I love the zoo in DC. Told you all that obama’s arrogance/impertinence will be punished.

The entire national fiasco, and international circus could not happen to a more narcissistic dummy on display. It’s like going to the circus, gratis.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2014 at 11:29 AM

And the FBI is keeping Petraeus quiet…

d1carter on March 6, 2014 at 11:30 AM

I invite judicial review on this, until then Dog Eater can do whatever he likes.

Bishop on March 6, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Okay, I’ll repeat the question I asked yesterday.

WHO IN THE HELL IS LOOKING FOR THE TERRORISTS? Seems like the rat-eared wonder only is interested in domestic spying, undermining a co-equal branch of government, and killing Americans without benefit of due process.

Happy Nomad on March 6, 2014 at 11:29 AM

The Tea Party has it coming for being loudmouthed traitors.

Try reading a chemistry book sometime, ‘winger.

Bishop on March 6, 2014 at 11:32 AM

“I’m assuming that’s it’s not true, but if it is true, it should be World War III in terms of Congress standing up for itself against the CIA, ” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told The Hill…

Fools let obama rule by fiat, from both sides…but now they lament.

Schadenfreude, pure.

It was hilarious when Cummings shouted “I’m tired of a one-sided hearing”…heh, heh…where is he when obama shreds the entire congress?…moronic fool, Cummings that is.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2014 at 11:33 AM

You know Obama’s in a jam when even Grahamnesty isn’t willing to back presidential power in a matter related to surveillance and counterterrorism.

Yeah. He’s in a jam all right. As in “I have a T -time at 11. But I promised Reggie I’d play cards with him at 11 as well!”

He will, and he knows, he will never be held to account for anything. He’s black.

Lanceman on March 6, 2014 at 11:34 AM

So everything the CIA has is on these computers? And why is “print” an option. Folks, we better hope the next big hit on the U.S. is perpetrated by citizens since that appears to be the only people these idiots are watching.

Cindy Munford on March 6, 2014 at 11:34 AM

A total fiasco.

But that’s how King Choomer the Magnificent I likes it…

workingclass artist on March 6, 2014 at 11:35 AM

I invite judicial review on this, until then Dog Eater can do whatever he likes.

Bishop on March 6, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Who’s going to initiate it? Holder?

Cindy Munford on March 6, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Clapper and Brennan look and are extremely stupid. The CYA has had a series of morons in charge, of late, by design. Same for the NSA and DHS.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Who’s going to initiate it? Holder?

Cindy Munford on March 6, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Don’t know don’t care, but until a judge officially declares one way or another, I’m fine with Dog Eater doing whatever he wants regardless of what it is.

Bishop on March 6, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Chuck Hagel at Defense is part of the pattern, I believe. He’s been astounding.

Cindy Munford on March 6, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Which way?

Majority of Senate R’s against.

Bmore on March 6, 2014 at 11:40 AM

When you put clowns in charge…you get a clown car.

d1carter on March 6, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Have we really reached the point in Obama’s counterterrorism evolution where he’s trying to cover up CIA malfeasance on enhanced interrogation from Democratic investigators?

It’s an executive branch vs. legislative branch fight.

The IRS & CIA agree: “how dare Congress have oversight over us. Who do they think they are, the elected representatives of the American serfs, er, people?”

rbj on March 6, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Obama thinking of combining the NSA, FBI and CIA and calling it Stasi…

albill on March 6, 2014 at 11:41 AM

WHO IN THE HELL IS LOOKING FOR THE TERRORISTS? Seems like the rat-eared wonder only is interested in domestic spying, undermining a co-equal branch of government, and killing Americans without benefit of due process.

Happy Nomad on March 6, 2014 at 11:29 AM

The attitude of liberals is that the only terrorists are conservatives. Actual terrorists overseas are just confused people who need it gently explained to them by wise, enlightened liberals that the US is their friend now.

Doomberg on March 6, 2014 at 11:42 AM

I’m just gonna go ahead and say it.

Obama and his administration consider Congress to be an adversary, and has been taking steps to reduce the threat that Congress poses to his fundamental changing of America.

Its that plain.

BobMbx on March 6, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Quagmire.

Good Lt on March 6, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Killary won’t have this problem when she’s Queen … Sandy Bergler is still alive, isn’t he?

ShainS on March 6, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Giggety!

Lanceman on March 6, 2014 at 11:44 AM

And why is “print” an option.

Cindy Munford on March 6, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Exactly. How old is this technology?

Maybe, since the CIA did such a good job at predicting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine we should give them a little slack. /s

Kaffa on March 6, 2014 at 11:45 AM

The Tea Party has it coming for being loudmouthed traitors.

Try reading a chemistry book sometime, ‘winger.

Bishop on March 6, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Resisting The Glorious FORE!(ward) Agenda of His Divine Imperial Majesty Barack HUSSEIN Obama is Treason.

/sarc

ConstantineXI on March 6, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Curious how Diane Feinstein feels now, since she was all in favor of NSA domestic spying. How does she feel when CIA is spying on HER?

kurtzz3 on March 6, 2014 at 11:46 AM

So I’m a bit confused here.

What, exactly, are they investigating? Bush era “enhanced interrogatory techniques?” Or Obama era ones? Why would Obama be concerned if he can blame bush?

Or is this Democrats investigating Obama lies?

Vanceone on March 6, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Kaffa on March 6, 2014 at 11:45 AM

How about the Boston Bombers with two heads up from Russia? I swear to Swanee, none of these people are going to be bringing the potato salad to the Mensa picnic but I don’t even know how they manage to find their way to work in the morning.

Cindy Munford on March 6, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Doomberg on March 6, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Or concentrate their attacks on NASCAR.

Cindy Munford on March 6, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Was Sandy Berger a staffer during this time?

portlandon on March 6, 2014 at 11:51 AM

The CIA let secret documents get out of their HQ without going through the proper document trail for the tracking of generated documents?

And it is COMPLAINING?

Where is the security that is supposed to be tracking this stuff?

WTF is going on at the CIA if this sort of thing can happen? There is an entire set of security procedures for tracking hard copy generated documents… and that has collapsed if this is what they are complaining about.

The CIA can’t even do its basic job any more at the lowest of low levels.

ajacksonian on March 6, 2014 at 11:52 AM

And why are Senate staffers “breaking protocol”, also known as “the rules” to smuggle documents out that they no doubt see as politically charged but refuse to identify – “knowlegeable person” or not – and then standing on their f’ing pedestal accusing the CIA of misconduct because they got busted doing it?

$40 MILLION dollars spent on this horsesh*t AFTER the DOJ already declined to prosecute.

Considering the craptastic record this administration has racked up regarding intel leaks I’d bloody spy on them too. Children need supervision, and where this admin is concerned a good ass kicking along with a pyre.

What else did they walk out with? Is it ok to do that now as long as it suits your political purposes and you can accuse the CIA of breaking the faith by calling you out for breaking it first?

Screw them both. Jeezus.

Recon5 on March 6, 2014 at 11:52 AM

How about the Boston Bombers with two heads up from Russia?

Cindy Munford on March 6, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Good point. I guess we won’t be hearing much from Russian intelligence for a while.

Kaffa on March 6, 2014 at 11:52 AM

portlandon on March 6, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Hey, at least the CIA knows what’s missing, the National Archives has only one copy of their documents. Or so we are lead to believe.

Cindy Munford on March 6, 2014 at 11:55 AM

…let’s smoke pot!

KOOLAID2 on March 6, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Its that plain.

BobMbx on March 6, 2014 at 11:42 AM

yep, the constitution is a document of negative rights and congress is an impediment to the change we all asked for according to Obama.

DanMan on March 6, 2014 at 11:59 AM

…let’s smoke pot!

KOOLAID2 on March 6, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Let’s not and say we did…

Lanceman on March 6, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Curious how Diane Feinstein feels now, since she was all in favor of NSA domestic spying. How does she feel when CIA is spying on HER?

kurtzz3 on March 6, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Probablt depends on whether it’s “upskirt” spying or just plain spying.

Bitter Clinger on March 6, 2014 at 12:06 PM

For further reference, see:

“America, Fundamental Transformation of”, By Barack Hussein Obama 2008, Chicago Machine Press.

Sacramento on March 6, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Anderson Cooper in Kiev: ‘It almost feels like something out of World War II’

I know, let’s send a gay reporter to interview Russians. Face palm.

Kaffa on March 6, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Wasn’t one of the most damning criticisms of Edward Snowden that he went to the press instead of going to Congress? If even Congress can’t go to Congress, I guess that whole argument goes straight down the crapper, no?

rogaineguy on March 6, 2014 at 12:45 PM

rogaineguy on March 6, 2014 at 12:45 PM

There are no heroes.

Cindy Munford on March 6, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Chuck Hagel at Defense is part of the pattern, I believe. He’s been astounding.

Cindy Munford on March 6, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Astoundingly dumb, like all the other clowns.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2014 at 12:54 PM

I want to point out that monitoring the CIA computers these staffers were using is not only a DUH moment, but likely required by cybersecurity guidelines and regulations. And you know what? That’s a good thing, since they actually caught someone violating the law as it pertains to access of classified information!

GWB on March 6, 2014 at 12:55 PM

So everything the CIA has is on these computers? And why is “print” an option. Folks, we better hope the next big hit on the U.S. is perpetrated by citizens since that appears to be the only people these idiots are watching.

Cindy Munford on March 6, 2014 at 11:34 AM

That right there raised my BS flag. They get escorted into a secure room and are provided computers AT the CIA, and we are supposed to believe they could just print out hard-copy of highly classified material that the entire facility was built to contain and keep secure?

Mord on March 6, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Curious how Diane Feinstein feels now, since she was all in favor of NSA domestic spying. How does she feel when CIA is spying on HER?

kurtzz3 on March 6, 2014 at 11:46 AM

As long as they don’t follow her on to some sort of public transit in Massachusetts, it should be OK.

oldroy on March 6, 2014 at 1:11 PM

Exit question:

If you are a Super Secret Spy organization, and you have to give Congress (not known for keeping secrets) access to Super Secret documents – would you not provide computers that could only VIEW documents?

WHY would you provide PRINTERS in the same room where you are only supposed to VIEW documents?

GarandFan on March 6, 2014 at 1:17 PM

It was hilarious when Cummings shouted “I’m tired of a one-sided hearing”…heh, heh…where is he when obama shreds the entire congress?…moronic fool, Cummings that is.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2014 at 11:33 AM

And I was angered when he proclaimed that he was a member of congress of the United States of America. I know in his mind, he’s entitled to royal treatment. Although he may understand he represents 700,000 constituents, he doesn’t think he works FOR them. He is their better.

I dispise this moron.

freedomfirst on March 6, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Giggety!

Lanceman on March 6, 2014 at 11:44 AM

My immediate reaction, too!

freedomfirst on March 6, 2014 at 1:21 PM

Look at the picture ………
The guy is wearing 2 stretchy bands !
He obviously cares more about stuff
than we do .

Lucano on March 6, 2014 at 1:22 PM

The CIA can’t even do its basic job any more at the lowest of low levels.

ajacksonian on March 6, 2014 at 11:52 AM

My question was who connected a printer to the computers provided to the oversight people? I figured they were put into some room that was carefully prepared with some computers for their use. Was a spare printer sitting in the corner that someone said “hey, let’s hook that up….who’s got a USB cable (or RS-232 or IEEE 1284 if it was a spare “old school” machine).

freedomfirst on March 6, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Mord on March 6, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Yes, you are suppose to believe that, just like you believe that Sandy Berger walked out of the National Archives with the only copies of God know what Clinton documents to be lost to history forever. Which is worse, that they think we are stupid or that we think they are stupid?

Cindy Munford on March 6, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Which is worse, that they think we are stupid or that we think they are stupid?

Cindy Munford on March 6, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Or in either case that they think we’re impotent to do anything about it.

freedomfirst on March 6, 2014 at 1:35 PM

The GOP needs to become the party of honest governess. If it means making Bush look bad, so be it. The GOP has embraced Sarah Palin, who also had no trouble ousting dishonest, corrupt Republicans. Who would she be today if Republicans took the “we can’t make x look bad” approach?

djaymick on March 6, 2014 at 1:51 PM

So everything the CIA has is on these computers? And why is “print” an option. Folks, we better hope the next big hit on the U.S. is perpetrated by citizens since that appears to be the only people these idiots are watching.

Cindy Munford on March 6, 2014 at 11:34 AM

That right there raised my BS flag. They get escorted into a secure room and are provided computers AT the CIA, and we are supposed to believe they could just print out hard-copy of highly classified material that the entire facility was built to contain and keep secure?

Mord on March 6, 2014 at 12:57 PM

.
The Kneepad Media swallowed the:

“Snowden took hundreds thousands tens of thousands 1.7 million EVERYTHING tens of thousands of documents.” stories being fed to them.

Why would they gag on the idea of highly secured data on highly secured computers inside the highly secured CIA building happened to have a laser printer hooked to them?

You seem to be suggesting these are not highly trained professional fluffers journalists?!?

PolAgnostic on March 6, 2014 at 1:57 PM

We do not need to protect Bush.

We need honest government and we don’t need a rogue CIA that is supposed to be paying attention to foreign issues spying on Us or the Congress.

Republicans had better vote “Yes” on releasing the report and while they are at it, voting “Yes” to release the 28 pages of the joint inquiry left out of the 2004 9/11 Report.

Falcon46 on March 6, 2014 at 2:09 PM

PolAgnostic on March 6, 2014 at 1:57 PM

LOL! I think they are still struggling with whether Snowden is a racist or a hero. If they hadn’t found out Obama was spying on the media, racist would have won hands down.

Cindy Munford on March 6, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Quickie background: The Intel Committee’s spent $40 million investigating CIA interrogation techniques under Bush.

Much too quick
You left out he most important item: Sandy Berger stealing document out of a vault and hiding it in a public place.

burt on March 6, 2014 at 2:12 PM

That right there raised my BS flag.

Mord on March 6, 2014 at 12:57 PM

GarandFan on March 6, 2014 at 1:17 PM

PolAgnostic on March 6, 2014 at 1:57 PM

If these computers weren’t set up specifically for this event, they would have been connected to printers. Also, the staffers might have wanted hardcopies for examination (you ever looked at some of these things? they don’t necessarily translate well to viewing on a screen). Oh yes, the CIA is stupid for allowing it in this case, imho. But it wouldn’t be that unusual.

Yes, there are printers hooked to classified systems. Because you can’t pick up your computer and cart it to a meeting. (No, most of these are not laptops – thankfully.) Because some things you need to write on. Because some things you need a hard copy of.

GWB on March 6, 2014 at 2:35 PM

The attitude of liberals is that the only terrorists are conservatives. Actual terrorists overseas are just confused people who need it gently explained to them by wise, enlightened liberals that the US is their friend now.

Doomberg on March 6, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Liberals call terrorists “freedom fighters.” I am not making that up.

dogsoldier on March 6, 2014 at 2:38 PM

I know, let’s send a gay reporter to interview Russians. Face palm.

Kaffa on March 6, 2014 at 12:29 PM

That my not en well. Who knows maybe they have plans to send him to Afghanistan next.

dogsoldier on March 6, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Screw them both. Jeezus.

Recon5 on March 6, 2014 at 11:52 AM

Agree with this. A pox on both their houses.

GWB on March 6, 2014 at 2:43 PM

If these computers weren’t set up specifically for this event, they would have been connected to printers. Also, the staffers might have wanted hardcopies for examination (you ever looked at some of these things? they don’t necessarily translate well to viewing on a screen). Oh yes, the CIA is stupid for allowing it in this case, imho. But it wouldn’t be that unusual.

Yes, there are printers hooked to classified systems. Because you can’t pick up your computer and cart it to a meeting. (No, most of these are not laptops – thankfully.) Because some things you need to write on. Because some things you need a hard copy of.

GWB on March 6, 2014 at 2:35 PM

.
I am completely astound by the lack of reading, research, thought and/or comprehension exhibited by people pushing an agenda in their comments.

Yes, secure systems DO have printers “linked” to them for people who have authorization for hardcopy.

The report in question is 6,300 pages (i.e. almost 13 reams of 500 sheets) which would require a LOT of printing – or did the Congressional folks somehow “just print the ‘good’ parts?

Or, far more likely, did a source in the CIA give the draft report to a Congressional staffer on an SD card?

Hint: Read below – it seems unlikely that the CIA would be requesting the Justice Department open an investigation into the actions of Democratic Congressional staffers if there wasn’t a LOT more going on. (Maybe, just maybe , Mr. Snowden’s cache of documents came from a Congressional staffer with clearance for the Verizon FISA court warrant.)

WASHINGTON — Congressional aides involved in preparing the Senate Intelligence Committee’s unreleased study of the CIA’s secret interrogation and detention program walked out of the spy agency’s fortress-like headquarters with classified documents that the CIA contended they weren’t authorized to have, McClatchy has learned.

After the CIA confronted the panel in January about the removal of the material last fall, panel staff concluded that the agency had monitored computers they’d been given to use in a high-security research room at the CIA campus in Langley, Va., a McClatchy investigation found.

It remained unclear Wednesday if the monitoring, the unauthorized removal of classified material or another matter were the subject of a recent CIA request to the Justice Department for an investigation into alleged malfeasance in connection with the committee’s top-secret study.

The documents removed from the agency included a draft of an internal CIA review that at least one lawmaker has publicly said showed that agency leaders misled the Intelligence Committee in disputing some of the committee report’s findings, according to a knowledgeable person who requested anonymity because of the matter’s extraordinary sensitivity.

In a combative statement issued Wednesday evening, CIA Director John Brennan chastised unidentified senators for making “spurious allegations about CIA actions that are wholly unsupported by the facts.”

“I am very confident that the appropriate authorities reviewing this matter will determine where wrongdoing, if any, occurred in either the executive branch or legislative branch,” he said in an apparent reference to the request for a Justice Department investigation. “Until then, I would encourage others to refrain from outbursts that do a disservice to the important relationship that needs to be maintained between intelligence officials and congressional overseers.”

The removal of the documents is the focus of an intense legal dispute between the CIA and its congressional overseers, said several people who also cited the matter’s sensitivity in asking to remain anonymous.

Some committee members regard the monitoring as a possible violation of the law and contend that their oversight powers give them the right to the documents that were removed. On the other hand, the CIA considers the removal as a massive security breach because the agency doesn’t believe that the committee had a right to those particular materials.

“Even if the agency is technically correct on the legalities, it’s a real asinine thing to pick a fight with your oversight committee like this,” said a U.S. official who was among those who spoke to McClatchy. “You’ve got to be asking yourself why the agency would be willing to take such a risk. The documents must be so damned loaded.”

White House officials have held at least one closed-door meeting with committee members about the monitoring and the removal of the documents, said the first knowledgeable person.

White House officials were trying to determine how the materials that were taken from CIA headquarters found their way into a database into which millions of pages of top-secret reports, emails and other documents were made available to panel staff after being vetted by CIA officials and contractors, said the knowledgeable person.

PolAgnostic on March 6, 2014 at 2:59 PM

PolAgnostic on March 6, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Being handed a disc or stick makes a lot more sense. Wouldn’t you think people being allowed access to these computers would be under audio and video surveillance? So presumably the exchange didn’t happen there.

Cindy Munford on March 6, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Anderson Cooper in Kiev: ‘It almost feels like something out of World War II’

I know, let’s send a gay reporter to interview Russians. Face palm.

Kaffa on March 6, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Don’t miss his special tonight, “Gay marriage behind the old Iron curtain?”.

slickwillie2001 on March 6, 2014 at 3:21 PM

Being handed a disc or stick makes a lot more sense. Wouldn’t you think people being allowed access to these computers would be under audio and video surveillance? So presumably the exchange didn’t happen there.

Cindy Munford on March 6, 2014 at 3:08 PM

.
A micro-SD card is an intelligence agent’s perfect tool for receiving/distributing limited amounts of data via any of the widely known public techniques (e.g. brush pass, drop box or the UPS delivery of a box for someone not at that address – the UPS person brings in the package, the recepient pulls a micro-SD card from under a cardboard flap and hands back the package saying, “Must be a mistake, no one by that name here.” and UPS returns it to the Staples store where it was dropped off for delivery never to be claimed.)

I have NEVER accepted the stories PROVIDED by leaks from the SCOAMF administration (you know, the folks who wanted to indict a reporter for espionage?) painting Snowden as a genius who end ran ALL the security checks – including the ones on stand-alone sytems he DID NOT have access to from the NSA.

“Snowden took hundreds thousands tens of thousands 1.7 million EVERYTHING tens of thousands of documents.” was the SCOAMF administration ‘not letting a crisis go to waste’ by taking the politically embarrassing documents published in Snowden’s name and using him as the fall guy for a massive penetration/leak/mole of strategic & militarily important data.

PolAgnostic on March 6, 2014 at 3:43 PM

I am completely astound by the lack of reading, research, thought and/or comprehension exhibited by people pushing an agenda in their comments.

Why do you think I’m pushing an agenda? Check your own reading comprehension, bub.

The report in question is 6,300 pages (i.e. almost 13 reams of 500 sheets) which would require a LOT of printing – or did the Congressional folks somehow “just print the ‘good’ parts?

I didn’t see where it said they printed out the entire report (are you speaking of the Panetta report?). It said they printed out evidence showing the report contradicts CIA claims. If they *did* print out the entire report, wow. (Doesn’t negate anything I said.)

Or, far more likely, did a source in the CIA give the draft report to a Congressional staffer on an SD card?

If they did that, then someone needs to go to jail. No flash memory or USB thumb drives (or cameras or PDAs or any other storage device) is allowed to be hooked to a classified computer without a very express procedure for clearing it. Period. In the DoD you can’t even hook them to an unclassified computer.

Quite simply, the CIA doesn’t appear to have been in the wrong for monitoring their computers (as required by cybersecurity policies and guidelines) or for having printers hooked up (though they might be *stupid* for the latter). Other issues with the CIA – legal or moral or intelligence-related – are not at issue in my comments.

GWB on March 6, 2014 at 4:01 PM

By CIA you mean Brennan ? The one who performed a counterintelligence op against the American people on Benghazi?

jake49 on March 6, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Do the CIA and NSA do anything BESIDES spy on the citizens of the US?

Another Libertarian on March 6, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Why do you think I’m pushing an agenda? Check your own reading comprehension, bub.


Seriously??
See bold from MY post below

The report in question is 6,300 pages (i.e. almost 13 reams of 500 sheets) which would require a LOT of printing – or did the Congressional folks somehow “just print the ‘good’ parts?

.
I didn’t see where it said they printed out the entire report (are you speaking of the Panetta report?). It said they printed out evidence showing the report contradicts CIA claims. If they *did* print out the entire report, wow. (Doesn’t negate anything I said.)

.
A 6,300 page document would take HOW long to read?

On a monitor?

So the staffer could print “out evidence showing the report contradicts CIA claims.”

I will guarantee you that removal of hard copy of highly classified documents is just as illegal as removing it in ANY other format … but one he|| of a lot more difficult.

Or …

Or, far more likely, did a source in the CIA give the draft report to a Congressional staffer on an SD card?

Hint: Read below – it seems unlikely that the CIA would be requesting the Justice Department open an investigation into the actions of Democratic Congressional staffers if there wasn’t a LOT more going on. (Maybe, just maybe , Mr. Snowden’s cache of documents came from a Congressional staffer with clearance for the Verizon FISA court warrant.)

.
This ISN’T about a CIA report that Democrats can wave screaming,

“BOOooossssshhhhh!”

And it isn’t about whether the “oversight” people with sufficient security classifications printed parts of a report.

This smells like the early days of Watergate when the “elite” started sorting out WHO would get fed to the sharks FIRST.

PolAgnostic on March 6, 2014 at 5:21 PM

A 6,300 page document would take HOW long to read?
On a monitor?

Probably longer than it takes to read it in hardcopy, based on human factors issues involved with vision and various media, as well as ergonomics involved with postures for each. What’s your point of asking this?

I will guarantee you that removal of hard copy of highly classified documents is just as illegal as removing it in ANY other format … but one he|| of a lot more difficult.

Where in the heck do I contradict that? However, my point was that even putting it on a flash drive or card is generally a violation, even if you don’t take it anywhere outside the secure facility.

This smells like the early days of Watergate when the “elite” started sorting out WHO would get fed to the sharks FIRST.

PolAgnostic on March 6, 2014 at 5:21 PM

I don’t disagree. I’m just trying to figure out why you’re arguing with me and casting aspersions on my character about this? I was simply pointing out that monitoring their own computers is what they’re supposed to be doing, and that having printers hooked up (while possibly dumb) wasn’t illegal or something you-just-don’t-do-because-it’s-classified. The staffers crying about those allegations are simply trying to “Look, squirrel!” to get the eyes off themselves, imho.

GWB on March 6, 2014 at 5:35 PM

And why is “print” an option.

Cindy Munford on March 6, 2014 at 11:34 AM

I guess the aide wasn’t a Lady Gaga fan.

(Interesting discussion, by the way. Question to the experts: Does the CIA ordinarily let someone out of a secure room with any printed documents they didn’t bring in with them? Or do they uniquely trust Congressional staffers?)

AesopFan on March 6, 2014 at 6:57 PM

PolAgnostic on March 6, 2014 at 5:21 PM
GWB on March 6, 2014 at 5:35 PM
AesopFan on March 6, 2014 at 6:57 PM
A quick recap. This is not the first time the Senate Intelligence committee staffers pulled this crap. Back in early 2002 they accused President Bush of various “War Crimes”. Long story short, they pulled the same stupid stunt and…..well, you know. Only that time, as part of a deal, the Senate shut the Committee down. The chairman (His name escapes me at the moment)D-VA took leave for “health reasons”. In typical D.C. fashion, the Democrats are trying to kill this before it gets out of hand. The Democratic Intelligence staff is some of the most racial left political hacks you will find on the Hill. And they are hated by all sides, with good reason. The one thing we know about the Obama administration, is how vicious they are when crossed. The CIA IG has passed this on Justice. The DCI will call this a counter-intelligence case,and will expect this to be investigated. I hope the Senator or Senators who pushed this, and the staffers who were stupid enough to go along with this, get good lawyers. They’re going to need them.

flackcatcher on March 6, 2014 at 8:15 PM

So everything the CIA has is on these computers? And why is “print” an option. Folks, we better hope the next big hit on the U.S. is perpetrated by citizens since that appears to be the only people these idiots are watching.

Cindy Munford on March 6, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Bingo. And soon now the Obama CIA and Obama NSA will declare Congress and the American people all spies and traitors.

VorDaj on March 6, 2014 at 8:21 PM