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CIA under probe for spying on Senate panel

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The Central Intelligence Agency’s inspector general has asked the US Justice Department to investigate allegations that the spy agency spied on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The allegations are directly related to a closed-door battle between the CIA and its congressional overseers over a 6,300-page report which details torture techniques, including water-boarding, wall-slamming and shackling, used by the agency under the presidency of George W. Bush.

According to McClatchy, several knowledgeable people have said that the CIA has monitored computers used by people who helped prepare the Senate’s “torture” report.

The report, which cost $40 million and took nearly four years to compose, “uncovers startling details about the CIA detention and interrogation program and raises critical questions about intelligence operations and oversight,” according to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California).

In addition to detailing the CIA’s illegal practices, the report reveals that the spy agency misled the White House, the Department of Justice, and Congress about the “effectiveness” of its controversial torture techniques.

The Senate panel reviewed more than six million pages of CIA documents and other records on the agency’s controversial programs in order to compose the report.

The CIA has not accepted some of the report’s conclusions and has resisted the push from some of the Senate panel’s members, like Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colorado), for the release of the report.

In a letter to President Barack Obama on Tuesday, Udall complained about the CIA’s efforts to block the de-classification of the report and its “unprecedented action against the committee,” referring to the agency’s alleged spying on the Senate panel.

“It is essential that the Committee be able to do its oversight work — consistent with our constitutional principles of separation of powers — without the CIA posing impediments or obstacles as it is today,” he wrote.

On Wednesday, Feinstein confirmed to reporters that the CIA’s inspector general was investigating the alleged spying but refused to make any further comments.


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