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Ooops! CIA “Mistakenly” Gives Jason Leopold Brennan’s Unsent Apology to Senate Committee

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Journalist Jason Leopold of VICE returns, to explain his recent expose of CIA Director John Brennan’s efforts to hide the Panetta Review, and his draft letter of apology to Senate investigators for charging them with stealing a copy of the Panetta Review.While President Obama has admitted that “we tortured some folks”, the CIA continues to fight charges that its torture practices were illegal, or ineffective.

In his lengthy, detailed report, Leopold shows that Brennan misled senators and the public about many aspects of the Senate intel committee’s “review” of CIA rendition, torture and interrogation. Criticizing the $40 million plus price tag for the study, Brennan didn’t tell us that CIA had paid that amount to a friendly contractor, Centra Technology, which set up the secure network with a Google search tool for use by senate staffers.

Brennan later learned that Centra had not properly configured the search tool, which enabled staffers to read and copy the Panetta review–and they stashed a copy in a Senate safe on Capitol Hill before Sen. Feinstein made a formal request for it.

In a constitutional showdown, Brennan accused the Senate staffers of hacking the CIA archives, and Feinstein countered that CIA personnel had violated the agreement by spying on the investigators.  Brennan drafted–but did not sign or send–a letter of apology in which he admitted CIA wrongdoing.  That draft was exempt from Leopold’s FOIA request, but CIA sent it to him and then asked him not to publish it.

In the end, Feinstein is vindicated, and Brennan’s credibility is shredded, along with that of former Attorney General Eric Holder, who refused to investigate the episode or appoint a special prosecutor.