Senator Wyden Statement on CIA Accountability Board Report on Agency’s Secret Search of U.S. Senate Files

Washington, D.C. –-(ENEWSPF)–January 15, 2015.  Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement on the CIA Accountability Board’s report on the agency’s secret search of Senate Intelligence Committee files:

“Both the CIA Inspector General and the review board appointed by Director Brennan have now concluded that the CIA’s unauthorized search of Senate files was improper. It is incredible that no one at the CIA has been held accountable for this very clear violation of Constitutional principles. Director Brennan either needs to reprimand the individuals involved or take responsibility himself. So far he has done neither. 

This episode further illustrates the cumulative corrosive effects of the CIA’s torture program. First, agency officers and contractors went far beyond the limits set out even in the Justice Department’s torture memos. Then, top officials spent a decade making inaccurate statements about torture’s effectiveness to Congress, the White House and the American people.  Next, instead of acknowledging these years of misrepresentations, the CIA’s current leadership decided to double down on denial. And when CIA officials were worried that the Intelligence Committee had found a document that contradicted their claims, they secretly searched Senate computer files to find out if Senate investigators had obtained it.

At a time when the CIA appears incapable of policing itself, the intelligence community needs more external oversight, not less.

Last June senior officials from the NSA, FBI and ODNI all testified that their agencies did not have the authority to conduct a search of U.S. Senate files without external authorization, but Director Brennan has refused to say what rules apply to the CIA.  This is unacceptable in a democracy. It is time for the Director’s stonewalling to end.”


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