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Wyden criticizes CIA search of Senate files

He reacts to internal report by agency.


U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden criticized the Central Intelligence Agency today after disclosure of an internal report that the agency searched the computers of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The Oregon Democrat is a member of the committee and has been critical of U.S. surveillance practices.

The committee was preparing a report on the CIA's detention and interrogation programs, which date back a decade and more and are now defunct.

Wyden's statement, issued after news accounts of the report by the CIA's inspector general:

“The CIA Inspector General has confirmed what senators have been saying all along: The CIA conducted an unauthorized search of Senate files, and attempted to have Senate staff prosecuted for doing their jobs. Director Brennan’s claims to the contrary were simply not true.

“What’s needed now is a public apology from Director Brennan to staff and the committee, a full accounting of how this occurred and a commitment there will be no further attempts to undermine Congressional oversight of CIA activities.”

News accounts report that John Brennan met with the Democratic chairwoman and top Republican on the committee, Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California and Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, and told them he was setting up a special review of what happened.

Last year, agency officials searched computers that Senate investigators used as part of their preparation for the committee report. The search was based on suspicion that the investigators obtained an internal CIA report on the now-defunct detention program.

That disclosure triggered a sharp statement by Feinstein on the Senate floor.

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