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CIA apologizes for hacking Senate computers after internal investigation

CIA apologizes for hacking Senate computers after internal investigation

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The CIA appears to have admitted (albeit vaguely) that it surreptitiously accessed Senate computers to perform damage control in advance of a report on alleged torture under its watch. In a statement published by McClatchy, spokesperson Dean Boyd said that an internal investigation's findings "include a judgment that some CIA employees acted in a manner inconsistent with the common understanding reached between SSCI [Senate Select Committee on Intelligence] and the CIA in 2009."

We don't know the contents of the report, but Boyd said that CIA head John Brennan briefed Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) earlier this week and apologized for the incident. He also said that the CIA would submit the report to an accountability board that could make recommendations for changes and "potential disciplinary measures." In March, Feinstein publicly accused the CIA of tampering with her committee's computers and attempting to stop it from finding potentially incriminating documents. Brennan's response is a marked reversal from earlier this year, when he said that "nothing could be further from the truth" than CIA hacking Senate computers.

Feinstein had two major complaints. The first was that operatives had snooped on Congress to find out what information it had on CIA interrogation. The second takes place on the CIA's own computers: Feinstein alleged that after promising to give the committee access to classified files through a secure internal system, the CIA began to quietly remove documents that could undermine its credibility. Brennan then allegedly turned around and lambasted Feinstein for making copies of the information, suggesting that the CIA had looked through her files. McClatchy indicates that this second complaint was sent to the Justice Department for investigation.