CIA confesses: Yeah, we hacked the Senate’s computers

posted at 1:21 pm on July 31, 2014 by Noah Rothman

In March, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) revealed that CIA Director John Brennan told her that the intelligence agency he leads had improperly accessed Senate computers and secretly removed classified documents while the agency’s War on Terror interrogation tactics were under investigation. Feinstein alleged that Brennan told her the CIA took that action because the agency believed the Senate might have accessed documents that they were not authorized to see.

In a statement, Brennan said the Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman had leveled “spurious allegations about CIA actions that were wholly unsupported by the facts.” While he confessed that the agency had made mistakes, the CIA director insisted that there was no merit to the charge that the agency had spied on members of Congress. “As far as the allegations of CIA hacking into Senate computers — nothing could be further from the truth,” Brennan’s statement read.

CNN recounts Feinstein’s roiled reaction to charges against the CIA:

“The CIA did not ask the committee or its staff if the committee had access to the internal review or how we obtained it,” Feinstein said in blistering remarks on the Senate floor. “Instead, the CIA just went and searched the committee’s computer.”

The outrage over the CIA’s claimed abuse of authority was bipartisan. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called the allegations against the spy agency “dangerous to a democracy.”

“Heads should roll, people should go to jail, if it’s true,” Graham said at the time. “I’m going to get briefed on it. If it is, the legislative branch should declare war on the CIA, if it’s true.”

War, it would seem, is imminent.

On Thursday, the CIA admitted to secretly and improperly hacking Senate staffers’ computers linked to the internal review of the agency’s tactics under George W. Bush.

“CIA Director John Brennan has determined that employees ‘acted in a manner inconsistent with the common understanding’ brokered between the CIA and its Senate overseers, according to agency spokesman Dean Boyd,” National Journal reported. In the statement, Boyd apologized to the committee chair and vice chair who were misled by Brennan.

The Hill foreshadows a major turf battle brewing between the intelligence agency and Congress:

Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), a member of the Intelligence Committee, quickly retorted on Twitter Thursday that the watchdog’s report “shows John Brennan misled [the] public, whose interests I have championed.

“I will fight for change at the CIA,” he added.


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Did the hack IRS computers? Do they have Lois Lerner’s emails?

corkie on July 31, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Now you know how the tea party feels, Demorats.

rob verdi on July 31, 2014 at 1:24 PM

How about the Supreme Court’s?

Flange on July 31, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Udall talking tough. I wonder why.:)

butch on July 31, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Lest we forget that Sharyl Attkisson’s computers were also hacked.

sentinelrules on July 31, 2014 at 1:28 PM

CIA = Executive branch = Obama

rhombus on July 31, 2014 at 1:28 PM

The CIA just needs to say they only targeted repulicans and conservatives and all will be well.

Skwor on July 31, 2014 at 1:29 PM

“If only they could have another $17 billion in their budget, the CIA could fix their software problems and delays—”
Wait, I’m sorry; that’s the VA.

But they’ll make the same assertion, more or less.
And monies will be appropriated.
And no heads will roll.
Because Washington.

orangemtl on July 31, 2014 at 1:30 PM

How about the Supreme Court’s?

Flange on July 31, 2014 at 1:25 PM

How about Justice Roberts’ computers? His family’s computers?

rhombus on July 31, 2014 at 1:30 PM

I want to hear from James Rosen’s parents.

The FoxNews reporter whose parents also were wiretapped by The Regime.

viking01 on July 31, 2014 at 1:32 PM

How about Justice Roberts’ computers? His family’s computers?

rhombus on July 31, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Or Ruth Vader’s sarcophagus?

Flange on July 31, 2014 at 1:33 PM

I don’t have any problem with “torturing” terrorists. If Democrats are angry, then even better.

ezspirit on July 31, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Not shocked about this yet more executive overreach.

sorrowen on July 31, 2014 at 1:34 PM

The government is entirely out of control.

forest on July 31, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Watch how bi-partisan they can be!

Cindy Munford on July 31, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Udall will do nothing, he’s a (D), so he’s by definition supportive of Obama and his Regime’s anti-Constitutional fascism.

The “Legislative Branch” is a complete joke.

Meople on July 31, 2014 at 1:35 PM

The government is entirely out of control.
forest on July 31, 2014 at 1:34 PM
We have a incompatant idiot in the WH and a runaway executive branch.

sorrowen on July 31, 2014 at 1:36 PM

The partisan and incompetent hack John Brennan lied?

That’s about as surprising as a nonsensical post by Verbie or Jimbo picking at nits from the bottom of a self-dug holes.

Athos on July 31, 2014 at 1:36 PM

They’ve definitely got something on Benedict Roberts and Weasel Boehner too.

viking01 on July 31, 2014 at 1:37 PM

The government is entirely out of control.

forest on July 31, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Yes it is and now like the bag of angry snakes they are eating each other.

dogsoldier on July 31, 2014 at 1:37 PM

You do know why this is coming out now – it takes about 2 1/2 years to get anything done about the IRS VA CIA, and coincidentally, that’s about the amount of time Team SCOAMT has left in the executive branch.

Steve Eggleston on July 31, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Take away funding from certain parts of the CIA. Do the same to the EPA,IRS actually defund everything but increase military spending.

sorrowen on July 31, 2014 at 1:38 PM

The CIA just needs to say they only targeted repulicans and conservatives…

Skwor on July 31, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Because those aholes are worse than teRrorists.

corkie on July 31, 2014 at 1:41 PM

Congress doesn’t need to go to “war” with the CIA. Just do their damn jobs and defund every program and position that is being used to abuse the United States constitution. It’s not rocket science.

KMC1 on July 31, 2014 at 1:43 PM

We be sorry, no really:
(sarc)

Central Intelligence Agency
1h
CIA director apologizes to senators over CIA searches of Senate computers; launches inquiry – @AP
End of alert

canopfor on July 31, 2014 at 1:44 PM

For the CIA nothing and no one is untouchable.

Take away funding from certain parts of the CIA. Do the same to the EPA,IRS actually defund everything but increase military spending.

sorrowen on July 31, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Someone once wrote it would be better to dissolve the CIA and return the responsibly of national intelligence gathering back to the military.

Even if funding was taken away from the CIA, it probably has the means in place to self fund if it wanted to.

hawkeye54 on July 31, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Rather the CIA than China, or NK or Al Qaeda or…

jake49 on July 31, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Congress doesn’t need to go to “war” with the CIA. Just do their damn jobs and defund every program and position that is being used to abuse the United States constitution. It’s not rocket science.
KMC1 on July 31, 2014 at 1:43 PM
That’s why we need new house leadership. Strip funding from the holder to and let states deal with local crimes not Holder. Also defund HHS that would kill Obamacare and if Obama takes executive action strip him of the funding to do it.

sorrowen on July 31, 2014 at 1:47 PM

All talk no action. You have to live under a rock not to know that the CIA doesn’t answer to anyone. It does what it wants when it wants it. All this shock about finding out they spied on congress is theater.

coolrepublica on July 31, 2014 at 1:54 PM

It’s great to get on message boards and chit chat about what is going to happen on this issue or that issue BUT in the end the whole system has been compromised to the point where we have no idea who is being extorted, threatened?… what pol is afraid of embarrassing secrets being revealed?

Or you can act like the idiot “smart set” and pretend that the CIA and NSA are a bunch of great guys and only use the snooping for pure and good intentions. Why have oversite, why worry about Clapper’s perjury** when there is already priestly fisa court and a saintly CIA administration that checks its own power//

They laugh at you. They see your whole browsing history and all your personal texts… and they laugh at you little people. Check this out
http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/08/23/nsa-officers-sometimes-spy-on-love-interests/

^No one was even fired! If they admit this stuff, and admit that no one was fired, then imagine what they don’t admit. AND NOT ONE FREAKING CONGRESSMAN EVEN ASKED IF ANYONE WAS FIRED OVER THIS!
If you have a connection in the FBI,CIA,NSA then you ARE better than the little people.

Rush is talking about this right now.

The spooks have made a mockery of any notion that we are a country of laws and justice. Truthfully ,America, which was once the last best hope is now , maybe, a problem not a solution, not a blessing to the world.

**he got away with it – no one has even explained how he got away with it – no one ,including Clapper, denies that he perjured himself under oath to one of the highest legal institutions in the land, yet….?!?!?!?

BoxHead1 on July 31, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Heh.

NOW Lindsey Graham sees a threat to democracy.

Cicero43 on July 31, 2014 at 1:59 PM

All talk no action. You have to live under a rock not to know that the CIA doesn’t answer to anyone. It does what it wants when it wants it. All this shock about finding out they spied on congress is theater.

coolrepublica on July 31, 2014 at 1:54 PM

For once I agree with you.

But I thought THIS President was going to fix all of that??

ToddPA on July 31, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Heh.

NOW Lindsey Graham sees a threat to democracy.

Cicero43 on July 31, 2014 at 1:59 PM

What, is he running for re-election or something?

hawkeye54 on July 31, 2014 at 2:01 PM

The Associated Press @AP · 47s

CIA director apologizes after report finds officers acted improperly when searching Senate computers in torture probe http://apne.ws/UDCXfJ

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/cia-director-apologizes-senate-leaders

https://twitter.com/AP

canopfor on July 31, 2014 at 2:05 PM

I’m starting to think that 9/11′s historical significance won’t merely be as a particularly bloody marker in a long-running conflict between civilization and barbarism.

Instead, I think history will view its greater significance as the event that triggered the gradual imposition of a police state on America.

Cicero43 on July 31, 2014 at 2:06 PM

BoxHead1 on July 31, 2014 at 1:57 PM

I misplaced a few ?s. sorry if you tried to read that.

BoxHead1 on July 31, 2014 at 2:09 PM

It’s not rocket science.

KMC1 on July 31, 2014 at 1:43 PM

It doesn’t have to be rocket science to be beyond Congress’s comprehension, especially the Republicans’.

PersonFromPorlock on July 31, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Sorry, I just can’t care that the people who routinely violate other’s rights by abusing their power are having their rights violated by someone else abusing their power. Let them all burn.

Cyhort on July 31, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Instead, I think history will view its greater significance as the event that triggered the gradual imposition of a police state on America.

Cicero43 on July 31, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Had the same thought.

“Never let a crisis go to waste.”

IrishEyes on July 31, 2014 at 2:20 PM

If they can hack the Senate’s computers, they can hack yours whenever they want.

fortcoins on July 31, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Senators don’t like the Stasi snooping on them…

Pity…

workingclass artist on July 31, 2014 at 2:54 PM

The dirtbag pols don’t like being spied on, but when it is you and me…eh screw us!

earlgrey on July 31, 2014 at 3:10 PM

CIA Senate spying allegations
1m

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. on CIA inspector general report: Investigation confirms CIA searched committee computers; ‘a declassified report will be made available to the public shortly’ – statement
Read more on senate.gov
========================

Jul 31 2014
Feinstein Statement on CIA IG Report

Washington—Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement:

“I was briefed Tuesday by CIA Inspector General David Buckley on the results of an IG investigation. The investigation confirmed what I said on the Senate floor in March—CIA personnel inappropriately searched Senate Intelligence Committee computers in violation of an agreement we had reached, and I believe in violation of the constitutional separation of powers.

“Director Brennan apologized for these actions and submitted the IG report to an accountability board. These are positive first steps. This IG report corrects the record and it is my understanding that a declassified report will be made available to the public shortly.”

###
Permalink: http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2014/7/feinstein-statement-on-cia-ig-report

http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=e1cf9543-5d61-4674-8c47-a824856f20c3

canopfor on July 31, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Now you know how the tea party feels, Demorats.

rob verdi on July 31, 2014 at 1:24 PM

except for the part where congress has a legitimate grievance and the tea party folks whined about their defrauding the government being slightly delayed.

Otherwise…yeah exactly.

Tlaloc on August 1, 2014 at 8:41 PM