Sen. Rockefeller blasts CIA on accountability

Retiring Sen. Jay RockefellerJohn (Jay) Davison RockefellerBottom Line World Health Day: It's time to fight preventable disease Lobbying World MORE (D-W.Va.) said it is "unacceptable" that no CIA officials will reportedly be punished for breaching computers used by Senate staffers. 

Rockefeller, a former Intelligence Committee chairman, said CIA Director John Brennan has continued to impede congressional oversight and will not answer basic questions about the incident. 


The New York Times reported that the unauthorized search was, at some points, carried out with the support of Brennan. The White House must hold Brennan "accountable" if Brennan called for the search, Rockefeller said. 

"That there would be no repercussions for any of this is beyond the pale," he said in a statement. "It enables a culture where serious mistakes are tolerated and swept under the rug. Such an unabashed lack of accountability would not be acceptable at any other department or agency, and it should not be acceptable at the CIA."

Rockefeller, who is retiring at the end of the year, said the search was "deeply inappropriate and shows a major lapse in judgment."

The dispute between the Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA involves the committee's report on the agency's now-defunct interrogation program that was released earlier this month. 

Earlier this year, committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) accused the agency of illegally accessing computers used by her committee at a CIA site set up for staffers to sort through documents associated with the George W. Bush-era interrogation program.

CIA officials were accused of breaching the computers to see if the agency had inadvertently given Senate staffers access to an internal report, dubbed the Panetta review, not meant to be read outside the agency.

Brennan was initially defiant after the accusations but later apologized after the CIA's inspector general found that the agency acted inappropriately.