Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein’s blistering attack last week on the CIA for spying on the committee’s investigation of the agency’s interrogation measures — an allegation strongly disputed by CIA Director John Brennan — sounded vaguely familiar.
We recall a case in Croatia in 1994 where the CIA station chief kept a very close eye on then-ambassador Peter Galbraith and other agency staff, reporting back to the CIA on what he suspected they were up to — which included a very controversial, though apparently authorized, operation to get some weapons to what many feared were the about-to-be-crushed Bosnians.
It was even alleged that the station chief reported on the personal lives of U.S. government employees, a source told us by way of refreshing recollections. A congressional inquiry, led by a Loop favorite, the forever youthful late Illinois GOP congressman Henry Hyde, concluded that there was no “spying.” But the allegations persist to this day. (The agency declined comment.)
We had heard at the time that the station chief had bugged the ambassador’s and other offices and phones, but our source said that definitely wasn’t true. (He didn’t need to. His liaisons, the Croatian spooks, were already likely doing that.)
So if the CIA was spying on the Senate investigation, is it something like gambling in Casablanca?