Lewis Diuguid

March 12, 2014

Leon Panetta’s name comes up in CIA, Dianne Feinstein computer infiltration conflict

Leon Panetta, former CIA chief, is this year’s recipient of the 2014 Harry S. Truman Good Neighbor Award. That’s announced the same day that Sen. Dianne Feinstein, on the floor of the Senate, criticizes the CIA over secretly infiltrating computers.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s unusual criticism of the CIA on the Senate floor Tuesday touches on the terms of two presidents over charges that the CIA’s secretly infiltrated computers.

Feinstein, a California Democrat, chairs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The committee is completing a 6,000-page report that is expected to be critical of the CIA in its use of waterboarding and other painful interrogation techniques during the presidency of George W. Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists attacks.

The Senate committee was promised unrestricted access to CIA operational information. The Washington Post reports that the issue is whether the CIA, employees or committee staffers abused their access to the shared network.

Feinstein implied that the CIA sabotaged the committee’s work from the start, with a “document dump” on computers with no ability to search, The Post said. The committee gained access to the files under the direction of Leon Panetta, who was director of the CIA from 2009 to 2011 during the Obama administration.

The timing is a bit awkward, but it was announced Tuesday that Panetta will receive the 2014 Harry S. Truman Good Neighbor Award on May 14 in Kansas City for his lengthy and distinguished service to the nation. Let’s hope the brouhaha in Washington leaves him as one of the good neighbors and not one that would cause people to run from the neighborhood.

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