CIA able to keep its secrets on child porn, fraud, other misconduct

IG documents reveal porn, fraud, other misconduct

Washington Times | Nov 13, 2012

By Jim McElhatton

A former office of general counsel attorney was investigated for time and attendance fraud, as was a national clandestine-service officer. A senior manager came under scrutiny for false expense claims. Yet another investigation delved into “possible unauthorized intelligence collection by Directorate of Intelligence Officers,” according to records.

Both of the child pornography investigations were closed during the second half of 2010, one stemming from materials found on an agency laptop and other on an agency network.

The documents make no reference to the sex scandal involving David H. Petraeus, who resigned last week as CIA director, but reveal a watchdog agency somewhat hamstrung early this year by budgetary constraints.

“Over the past decade, the resources provided to the OIG have not kept pace with the dramatic growth in CIA operations and spending,” CIA Inspector General David B. Buckley wrote in a January report, which detailed his agency’s activities over the previous six months.

“In fact, unlike the [inspectors general at the Defense and State departments and USAID], the CIA OIG received no supplemental or operational funding during the contingency operations in Iraq, Afghanistan or the War on Terror, and did not forward deploy to the war zones,” Mr. Buckley wrote.

He also outlined his office’s work on 21 audit reports and six inspection reports covering “various covert action, proprietary, field station and other intelligence activities of the CIA.”

Given the agency’s penchant for secrecy, however, the documents weren’t released to the public even in redacted form as a matter of policy.

“The CIA inspector general’s reports are classified and therefore they are not publicly available,” Mr. Golson said Tuesday. He added, however, that the reports are sent to the CIA’s director, who forwards them to intelligence oversight committees in Congress.

Scott H. Amey, general counsel for the Project on Government Oversight Group, a nonpartisan watchdog, said there could be more transparency without compromising national intelligence.

“Unfortunately, the CIA IG prohibits public access to any specific plans or reports highlighting waste, fraud, abuse or ethics violations,” Mr. Amey said.

“It is really hard to imagine that every audit or investigation involves classified programs, methods or sources, and therefore a more balanced position regarding public access should be on the table.”

Former CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz, an adjunct law professor at the University of Virginia, said he understands the need to keep the work of the internal watchdog secret as well as arguments pushing for more transparency.

But he said the notion that the inspector general’s office doesn’t have the resources it needs does raise concerns.

“There are plenty of ways in which the CIA IG, if he or she feels strangled for dough, can make that known,” Mr. Hitz said.

Mr. Buckley raised concerns about funding in a Jan. 13 letter to Mr. Petraeus that was included in a report on the inspector general’s activities.

In the same message to Mr. Petraeus, Mr. Buckley also sought greater statutory authority for the watchdog office.

“As previously reported, I had determined that our ability to best conduct investigations of allegations of wrongdoing by CIA employees and contractors, pertaining to CIA activities, is hampered by the lack of statutory authority to support the conduct of such investigations, enjoyed by the other inspectors general,” he wrote.

When he appeared before the Senate in 2010 for a confirmation hearing, Mr. Buckley was asked by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, whether the CIA inspector general’s office had all of the powers it needed to operate in a “vigorous and effective” way.

“Madam Chair, I, as I understand the authorities of the office today and the mission that lies ahead I believe so,” he responded at the time.

Mr. Golson said the inspector general’s office had, indeed, sought “statutory enhancements” and that the requests have since been sent to congressional oversight committees.

One response to “CIA able to keep its secrets on child porn, fraud, other misconduct

  1. Senior Judge in Cole County molested a child controls court with power and threatens other Judical officers of the court. He needs investigated. He was the Judge who was caught drinking and driving. Afraid to reveal his name. He threatens everyone with a slander suit.

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