Below is a letter that my colleague Fred Fleitz wrote in response to a May 8 letter to the CIA signed by Senate Intelligence Committee members Ron Wyden (D-OR), Mark Heinrich (D-NM) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) demanding an apology from CIA Director John Brennan for the Agency conducting an unauthorized and illegal search of Senate files during an investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Democratic staff of the CIA enhanced interrogation program. This led to a firestorm of criticism last year that CIA had spied on Congress and tried to sabotage the committee’s investigation.
Fleitz explained in an in-depth February 2, 2015 National Review article, Who Oversees the Overseers, that the charges of CIA misconduct in this case are utterly false and the real misconduct was committed by the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Democratic staff. He noted that this misconduct included removing classified documents from a CIA building without authorization, smuggling a camera into the CIA, and hacking a CIA computer system to access documents that the staff were not authorized to read that were protected by attorney-client and executive privileges.
In his letter to the three Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Fleitz calls them out for repeating this false charge against the CIA and calls on them to repair the damage done to the trust between Congress and the U.S. Intelligence Community by investigating the staff misconduct and holding them accountable.
It is unfortunate that these three senators are trying to revive this false story by writing to CIA and circulating their letter to the news media. Hopefully Fleitz’s letter will help defuse this story by providing the press and members of Congress a more accurate account of this affair and the damage it did to U.S. intelligence oversight.
Letter attachment: “Who Oversees the Overseers?”