The CIA did, in fact, hack the Senate committee overseeing it

Remember in March, when Senate Intelligence Committe Chair Dianne Feinstein took to the floor of the Senate to accuse the CIA of having hacked the computers of the committee, which was at the time investigating CIA abuses in the war on terror? At the time, CIA director John Brennan vehemently denied the charge.

But this week, an inspector general's report confirmed Sen. Feinstein's allegations. Brennan has apologized.

However, as today's NYT editorial persuasively argues, that's not enough here: if Congress is to retain the ability to oversee executive agencies, the CIA's culture of impunity has to change. Until then, it's going to be very difficult for the public to believe — or Congress to ensure — that the agency is looking out for, rather than in on, all of us.

0 thoughts on “The CIA did, in fact, hack the Senate committee overseeing it

  1. William Roberson says:

    Given that, historically, much of the goal of spying (or the recent PC euphemism — “intelligence gathering”) is to unearth “dirt” on enemies and opponents for purposes of leverage, we should worry about how extensively these secretive bodies have hacked the professional and personal accounts of decision-makers. There are innumerable ways the private communications or behavior of elected/appointed officials, beyond those that are obviously illegal or morally questionable, if exposed, could have significant consequences. If the CIA/NSA/DIA have access to this information, particularly of members of Congress who oversee these agencies, it gives these agencies potential leverage with regard to policy decisions, funding, and avoiding accountability or even prosecution. Everyone has secrets or possibly professionally embarrassing or detrimental communications; government officials are even more vulnerable (powerful private interests with governmental access and influence could be manipulated as well). It is unlikely that anyone would come forward if exposed to this form of arm-twisting. With access to the private and professional information of decision-makers, there is a real risk of a “shadow government” operating behind the scenes.

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