A controversial investigation began right after the CIA released a report on Thursday that gravely contradicted John Brennan’s public statements. It seems that the CIA illegally hacked several computers of the Senate and when the CIA declared that they were in possession of a document from one of those computers, John Brennan, CIA Director, came under serious scrutiny.
Involving the case where CIA employees had been accused of improperly searching computer files and emails, agency director Brennan denied that there had been any proof of misconduct. However, the CIA report on Thursday showed that those employees had indeed performed searches of the Senate Intelligence Committee computers. This information is only accessible to congressional investigators.
These employees are three computer specialists and two lawyers that conducted the computer searches and revealed that the CIA and automatically its director don’t receive a vote of confidence. Sen. Lindsey O. Graham expressed his concern for this situation, raising another concern: if the CIA director wasn’t informed of these searches, what else is there that he isn’t aware of?
There has already been great public criticism and some lawmakers have demanded that CIA Director Brennan resign from his position. President Obama intervened, however, expressing his full confidence in his agency director. He added that the internal investigation had been, in fact, because of Brennan’s instructions, who also immediately apologized to Senate leaders for the situation.
This situation is the worst nightmare for Brennan, who has been trying to challenge the release of a Senate investigation which accused the CIA of misleading legislative and executive branches about their 9/11 interrogation program (allegedly, the CIA did not explain what their interrogation program consisted of and exaggerated its effectiveness).
On Friday, Sen. Martin Heinrich of the Senate Committee expressed his concern during an interview for the Washington Post, and said that he could not accept that CIA employees had acted on their own. He added that while the involvement of Director Brennan or how he found out about the situation wasn’t clear, his actions have surely played a role in the general tone at the CIA where employees would think that such actions could be somehow appropriate.
Under the sting of this very public scrutiny, investigation reports will be turned over to Congress. What remains to be seen after this situation is whether President Obama’s confidence in Director Brennan is founded and if there is still hope that he will retain his position in spite of this unprecedented scandal.