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In March 2014, Senator Dianne Feinstein accused the CIA of spying on Senate Select Intelligence Committee members who were compiling a report on CIA torture programs. John Brennan went on television and told the world it wasn't true.
"The allegations of CIA hacking into senate computers...nothing could be further from the truth. We wouldn't do that. That's just beyond the scope of reason," Brennan said in a video-taped interview at the Council of Foreign Relations.
Anyone familiar with the CIA's history likely won't be terribly surprised that the CIA director lied to the public about his agency's illegal spying on congress. The CIA isn't known for its respect for the separation of powers, the rule of law, or the truth.
But it's useful to have fresh proof, illustrating that the CIA considers itself to be above the law. And the CIA's spying on congress was actually much worse than the headlines reveal.
McClatchy, which has been breaking all the stories related to this scandal, reports that CIA employees didn't just look at senate staffers' computers to examine their documents. The paper's reporting suggests that CIA also operates an email surveillance program targeting senate intelligence staffers. The CIA inspector general who investigated allegations of improper spying found that "CIA security officers conducted keyword searches of the emails of staffers of the committee’s Democratic majority and reviewed some of them," McClatchy reports.
How the hell does the CIA have access to staffers' emails? Did they have warrants to spy on congress members' employees? Of course not.
What's President Obama's response to this madness? He has "full confidence" in John Brennan, the CIA director who oversaw a violation of the separation of powers and illegal spying on congress, and then lied about it to the public. Full confidence.