An accountability board overseen by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) cleared the spy agency of any wrongdoing after investigating the search of Senate computers that were used to review the agency's alleged use of torture tactics during Bush's presidency period. That might be fine and dandy under different circumstance, but in this case, the review panel looking into the CIA's actions was put together by… the CIA. Conflict of interest, anyone?
The board released a 38-page report in which it found that a handful of agency officials made a "mistake" by searching for files used by the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating the CIA, but that it wasn't done in "bad faith" or with the intention of gaining improper access to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
"The board found that no discipline was warranted for the five CIA personnel under review because they acted reasonably under the complex and unprecedented circumstances involved in investigating a potential security breach in the highly classified shared computer network, while also striving to maintain the sanctity of [committee] work product," the board said in a statement. "Because there was no formal agreement -- or even clear common understanding -- governing the procedures to be followed in investigating a potential security incident in these circumstances, no course of action was free of potential complication or conflict."
In case it needs stating, the main issue here is the lack of accountability on the CIA's part. Senator Feinstein said in another statement that she and her staff are still reviewing the report, adding that she believes the "CIA's actions constituted a violation of the constitutional separation of powers" and that she's "disappointed that no one at the CIA will be held accountable."
"The decision was made to search committee computers, and someone should be found responsible for those actions," she added.
Senator Ron Wyden agreed, saying in a Twitter post that it's "unreal that no one at CIA is being held accountable for hacking in Senate computers."
Feinstein and other Senators have accused the CIA of secretly removing 900 pages of documents from Intelligence Committee computers back in 2010. Those documents allegedly had to do with the agency's torture tactics, or "enhanced interrogation." But if that bothers you, rest easy at night knowing that the CIA essentially investigated itself and found no evidence of shenanigans.
You can read the full report here (PDF).