NYT calls for CIA shake-up

The New York Times editorial board is calling for an overhaul at the CIA, after an investigation found the agency was hacking into Senate Intelligence Committee computers.

The Thursday editorial piles on calls — including from Senate Intelligence Committee member Mark Udall (D-Colo.) — for the resignation of CIA Director John Brennan.

“The C.I.A. needs far more than a few quiet personnel changes, however,” the editorial board wrote.

“Its very core, and basic culture, needs a thorough overhaul.”

A CIA internal investigation out Thursday found that officials at the agency hacked into Senate Intelligence Committee computers as staffers works on a report about Bush-era “enhanced interrogation.”

When Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) accused the CIA of hacking earlier this year, Brennan said such an act would be “beyond the scope of reason” for the agency.

“But reason seems to have little to do with the C.I.A.’s operations, as Mr. Brennan apparently discovered far too late,” the editorial board wrote.

While Brennan has apologized to the Senate Intelligence Committee leadership, “the accountability and the apologies, however, will have to go much further,” the editorial said.

“It’s not just two senators that the C.I.A. has offended by this shocking action. It is all of Congress and, by extension, the American public, which is paying for an intelligence agency that does not seem to understand the most fundamental concept of separation of powers.”

The editorial pointed to Brennan.

“If he knew about the break-in, then he blatantly lied,” the editorial board wrote.

“If he did not, then apparently he was unaware of the lawless culture that has festered within the C.I.A. since the moment it was encouraged by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to torture suspects and then lie about it.”