CIA apologises for spying on Senate

Agency admits agents did not have permission to access computers of US Senate officials investigating CIA torture.

    In March, the CIA dismissed allegations the agency had spied on the committee investigators [AFP]
    In March, the CIA dismissed allegations the agency had spied on the committee investigators [AFP]

    The head of the CIA has apologised to US politicians after an internal investigation found agents had accessed Senate computers to monitor a government probe into CIA torture.

    The CIA's inspector general on Thursday found officers searched the computers without permission when the Senate intelligence committee was investigating the agency.

    The findings come months after the agency's director, John Brennan, told members of the Senate intelligence committee in March that the CIA had not spied on committee investigators. "Nothing could be further that the truth," he said in March.

    Brennan on Thursday apologised to members of the committee.

    The scandal centres on the CIA's computer archive, RDINet, which made classified documents available to committee officials investigating allegations of excesses committed by CIA officers.

    In March, the committee accused the CIA of penetrating this network during a Senate investigation, an apparent breach of the US constitution's separation of legislative and executive arms of government.

    The Senate committee has been investigating alleged excess CIA practices, including harsh interrogation methods such as simulated drowning, or "water-boarding", to question captured suspects following the September 11, 2001 attacks.

    The White House is expected to deliver a declassified version of a summary of the committee's report to Congress by the end of this week.


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.