CIA admits Senate spying

We recently wrote about charges made by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee in the United States Senate, that the Central Intelligence Agency had hacked into computers used by her staff.

CIA Director John Brennan vigorously denied the charge.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that Brennan has issued an apology to Feinstein and other senators after an internal inspector general’s investigation turned up evidence that as many as 10 CIA employees did indeed search computers used by the committee.

The committee had been investigating the agency’s interrogation methods on suspected terrorists.

The story said that Brennan has asked an internal personnel board to recommend “potential disciplinary measures” for the CIA employees involved in the search of the computers.

That was not enough for Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado, the Post reported. He called for Brennan’s resignation for “the unprecedented hacking of congressional staff computers.”

The White House said it was standing by Brennan.

When Feinstein first made the charges, she said the CIA had violated the Constitution’s “separation-of-powers principles.” Thursday, she described the apology and the creation of the personnel board as “positive first steps.”

According to the Post, Feinstein also said, “This IG report corrects the record.” In other words, it represents an admission that her original charges about CIA hacking of her staff’s computers were correct.

We hope this also represents a “first step” in reining in our overzealous intelligence agencies.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.