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    CIA Insists White House Knew About Spying on Senate Committee

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    A report from the CIA's Inspector General confirms that the CIA snooped in Senate Committee computers, and that the Oval Office was aware of its actions.

    MOSCOW, January 16 (Sputnik) – A report by the CIA's Office of the Inspector General, released on Wednesday, reveals that the White House failed to take measures to prevent the CIA from gaining access to the computer drive used by the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating the CIA's torture program, despite being aware of its intentions, the Huffington Post reported on Thursday.

    "[CIA director] Brennan spoke with White House chief of staff Denis McDonough before CIA employees were ordered to 'use whatever means necessary' to determine how certain sensitive internal documents had wound up in Senate investigators’ hands," the HP reported the Inspector General's findings. "The conversation with McDonough came after Brennan first issued the directive, but before he reiterated it to a CIA attorney leading the probe," the paper continued.

    Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein had previously stated that the "stand-alone computer system" promised by the then CIA director Panetta for the committee to conduct investigations into CIA documents was searched twice by the CIA, despite promises that the drive "would only be accessed by information technology personnel at the CIA—who would 'not be permitted to share information from the system with other [CIA] personnel, except as otherwise authorized by the committee,'" the senator said in a statement in March last year.

    The report published Wednesday from the CIA Inspector General was completed in July, and concluded that the five CIA operatives who accessed the Committee's computer system had acted improperly. However, in spite of its findings, CNN reported on Wednesday that the operatives in question will not face disciplinary measures after a different report from an accountability review board appointed by Brennan concluded the employees had "acted reasonably under the complex and unprecedented circumstances involved in investigating a potential security breach in the highly classified shared computer network."

    The Washington Examiner reported White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that the review board has the backing of the Oval Office: "The administration has a lot of confidence in this review board," said Earnest, adding that "there are some procedural reforms that this committee has suggested be put in place and that’s good news."
    On Wednesday Feinstein said she was "thankful" for Brennan's apology regarding the actions of his staff, but "disappointed that no one at the CIA will be held accountable," for the decision to search committee computers.


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