Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 8, 2015

Reid Orders Probe of CIA Spying, Warns of ‘Intelligence Community Run Amok’

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has asked Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer to investigate how Intelligence Committee staff gained access to a report at the heart of the standoff between the CIA and the Senate.

The Nevada Democrat disclosed in a letter to CIA Director John O. Brennan that he was asking Gainer “to initiate a forensic examination of the computers and computer network assigned for exclusive [Senate Select Committee on Intelligence] use.”

The staff of the the Intelligence Committee was investigating the CIA’s use of interrogation techniques and detainee policies during the George W. Bush administration.

Reid is highly skeptical of the CIA’s contention that Senate staff improperly accessed a document known as the Panetta report that seems to be at the center of the war over improper access and removal of information.

Reid went so far as to call the idea “an allegation that appears on its face to be patently absurd.”

“To ensure its independence, I ask that you take whatever steps necessary to ensure that CIA personnel refrain from further interaction relating to this issue with Senate staff other than the Sergeant-at-Arms staff conducting the examination while the examination is underway,” Reid wrote in the letter dated Wednesday.

The Associated Press first obtained the Brennan letter, but in a separate Wednesday letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., Reid informed the Justice Department of his instructions to Gainer, while also expressing concern about broader actions on the part of the CIA, reviewing some of the details Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., set out in her Capitol-shaking floor speech on the subject.

“In my capacity as the leader of the U.S. Senate, the CIA’s actions cause me great concern,” Reid wrote to Holder. “The CIA has not only interfered with the lawful congressional oversight of its activities, but has also seemingly attempted to intimidate its overseers by subjecting them to criminal investigation. The developments strike at the heart of the constitutional separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches. Left unchallenged, they call into question Congress’s ability to carry out its core constitutional duties and risk the possibility of an unaccountable intelligence community run amok.”

Comments (51)

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  1. prudentman

    March 20, 2014
    11:51 a.m.

    Harry, while you’re at it, check out the IRS.

  2. Layla

    March 20, 2014
    12:36 p.m.

    Administration gone wild. Congress refuses to act. However, there is a cure. We have an election in November. Let every man speak and remove this blight from our nation.

  3. Steve Dietrich

    March 20, 2014
    12:39 p.m.

    I think Harry finally realized that they could be spying on him. However, his letter to Holder is a waste of time.

    • Mamzer_FEMA_REGION_IV

      March 22, 2014
      12:11 p.m.

      Yep, should has sent it in a wav. file

  4. OldmanRick

    March 20, 2014
    2:36 p.m.

    Harry is just redirecting everyone’s attention away from the major issues facing the dim party. Attacking the NSA is safe. It is not associated with any political party.

  5. tom nogaro

    March 21, 2014
    11:57 a.m.

    why the fuss? why probe the cia? isn’t its job to monitor terrorists, and isn’t harry the deadest a known terrorist?

    a probe needs to be ordered, and run stat, of harry’s bowel, from his left great toe to his right eyeball. i heard it was diseased, putrefied even, and he’d died from it, no? if so, embalming is in order, correct?

  6. cbanalyst

    March 21, 2014
    11:59 a.m.

    Harry Reid reminds me of Claude Raines? comment in the movie, “Casablanca” when he said (hypocritically) ” round up the usual suspects”. I believe Reid not only knew but directed the actions of the investigators.

  7. Seeker6

    March 21, 2014
    1:31 p.m.

    Of course he wants that because he got catch in a corruption scandal and this is a form of cover up.

  8. Dan Berghamer

    March 21, 2014
    1:37 p.m.

    Would love to have Dirty Harry pay a visit to Dirty Hairy Reeds.

    • Anthony_McCarthy

      March 21, 2014
      3:45 p.m.

      So he could yell at an empty chair as he drooled in senile dementia?

      • Dan Berghamer

        March 21, 2014
        4:22 p.m.

        No, so he would put him out of our misery, and improve the world.

        • Anthony_McCarthy

          March 21, 2014
          5:51 p.m.

          Clint is a senile, paranoid, Republican nut roll. I strongly suspect that Harry Reid, who was a boxer, could take care of him if he hadn’t forgotten what he’d been sent to do.

          • Dan Berghamer

            March 21, 2014
            6:30 p.m.

            Funny illustration, but Reed is one of the problems with politics today, not the solution (maybe the boxing rattled his brains too much, so he turned to politics). Like many of the old guard, (both parties) they obstruct and divide rather than provide much in productive leadership. Tenure should not be construed as having intelligence or the ability to lead. School teachers are the shining example of this, along with the old farts in politics.

  9. OHDisqusNSA666100

    March 21, 2014
    2:31 p.m.

    Conservatives apparently are unhappy with Harry Reid for warning of the “intelligence” community running amok. Right?

  10. Anthony_McCarthy

    March 21, 2014
    3:46 p.m.

    The CIA should have been dissolved and scattered in the wind sixty years ago.

    • Dexter Hexter

      March 23, 2014
      9:21 a.m.

      Best posting in some time!

  11. oldtimecamper

    March 21, 2014
    7:55 p.m.

    Sounds like a waste of time and money. Probe people that spy and lie all the time. Better have lots of insiders.

  12. Standandfight

    March 21, 2014
    8:16 p.m.

    Harry needs a probe drove right up his azz dirty piece of sxxx.

  13. FRANK

    March 21, 2014
    11:52 p.m.


  14. Z54

    March 22, 2014
    12:35 a.m.

    Lock Brennan and Feinstein in a dark room. Give each a knife. Who ever survives is the winner. Then we shoot the winner!

  15. Mamzer_FEMA_REGION_IV

    March 22, 2014
    12:14 p.m.

    Harry could not find a gerbil if it were……

  16. Dexter Hexter

    March 23, 2014
    9:20 a.m.


    “The way of a fool is right in his own his eyes.” Proverbs 12:15.

    “The truthful lip shall be established forever. But a lying
    tongue is but for a moment.” Proverbs

    “The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, but the
    fool’s is deceit.” Proverbs 14:8

  17. Dexter Hexter

    March 23, 2014
    9:34 a.m.

    Madalyn Dunham joined the CIA, acting as a Bank VP and issuing checks totalling billions to overthrow governments around the world. Then Stanlay Ann (under so many different names) joined the CIA as a Ford Foundation front, again issuing checks totalling billions to undesirable governments. Surprise! Barry Barach Hussein Dunham Soetoro-Sutoro-Obama (under many other names and social security numbers) became the CIA puppet, plunging America into debt by the trillions of dollars. Check it out!

    “The way of a fool is right in his own his eyes.” Proverbs 12:15.

    “The truthful lip shall be established forever. But a lying
    tongue is but for a moment.” Proverbs

    “The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, but the
    fool’s is deceit.” Proverbs 14:8

  18. Bob Stauskas

    March 23, 2014
    10:19 a.m.

    As the webs of bureaucratic socialism grow thicker, even our brief respites to choose new overseers become insufficient to maintain the mental faculties upon which morality, liberty, and prosperity depend.

  19. Greenie Beanie

    March 24, 2014
    5:17 p.m.

    If we cannot estimate the value of the efforts we’re considering, we have little choice but to depend upon others to direct our way ahead.

  20. Rita Witt

    March 25, 2014
    11 p.m.

    How did the Senate gain Panetta’s paper? Problem solved there is a Chinese chip inside all our Chinese computer imports that lets any Chinese student siting in the Senate wings with a master chip computer to scan all other computers present.

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