CIA launches internal investigation into whether CIA broke law in spying on Muslims with NYPD

New CIA director David Petraeus says the agency has launched an internal investigation into whether it broke the law by closely cooperating with the New York City police department, to spy on Muslims. Good to know that the CIA will let us know whether the CIA broke the law.

[T]he agency's inspector general began investigating at the request of acting director Michael Morell, before Petraeus took office just over a week ago. The agency's unprecedented cooperation with the NYPD was the subject of an eight-month investigation by The Associated Press.

At a congressional hearing Tuesday, Petraeus said there is a CIA adviser at the police department and the CIA wants "to make sure we are doing the right thing."

via The Associated Press, which previously led an investigative series of reports on the CIA/NYPD partnership.


  1. Good to know that the CIA will let us know whether the CIA broke the law.

    I understand that skepticism and a willingness to hold government accountable is the duty of every citizen. But unless you think the CIA is a truly rogue agency, pursuing ends completely distinct from what the rest of the federal government has in mind, I’m not sure what you’d prefer. All government investigations are essentially internal investigations: you either accept the premise that the investigators are truly interested in uncovering wrongdoing, or you don’t. If you’re inclined to eye-roll at the notion that anyone in authority is accountable to anyone else, wouldn’t it be just as easy to roll eyes at an FBI or GSA or DOJ investigation of the CIA?

    1. Any sort of internal self policing will always result in eye-rolling. It would have just resulted in less drastic eye-rolling had the DOJ done it. It doesn’t matter anyway because we’d never hear the result, and it wouldn’t change anything either. I’m not jaded, I’m being pragmatic, and have learned from history.

    2. “The government” is a very vast entity with many subdivisions, sometimes with opposing interests.

      The CIA investigating the CIA can only yield one result: no serious wrongdoing will be found.

      Another more indepentent entity of government could conduct the investigation, but something tells me that the CIA would fight tooth and nail any attempt at a truly independent investigation.

  2. CIA launches internal investigation into whether CIA broke law in spying on Muslims with NYPD

    In the interests of saving tax-payer dollars, let me save some time: Uh, yeah.

  3. Prediction: The CIA finds it did not break any rules, but then announces that it will end the program in question anyway, while it actually continues the program in question under a new name.

    It’s not that I think the CIA is rogue, it’s that even local police departments have trouble regulating themselves, and when they find they have broken one of their own rules they tend to cover it up rather than admit error.  It’s human nature.

  4. The CIA has concluded their internal investigation, found no wrongdoing, and promise never to break the law again, if indeed there was lawbreaking going on, which we can neither confirm, nor deny. We also can’t confirm or deny that this statement came from the CIA, or that the CIA actually exists.

  5. A CIA spokesperson yesterday confirmed that the agency’s charter did not permit it to spy on Americans. He went on to express doubt, however, that New Yorkers could properly be considered Americans. “Just look at them,” he said, “Most of them are pinkos of one kind or another. They eat things like arugula and do yoga and that kind of shit. Do you call that American? Because I certainly don’t.” He also pointed to low rates of car ownership among New Yorkers as a further sign of un-Americanism. “Half of those wackos don’t even have driving licenses,” he explained. “They don’t own cars. And you know why? Because they have public transport. Public transport. Doesn’t that just say ‘Communism’ to you? It’s the People’s Socialist Republic of Manhattan, that’s what it is. As far as I’m concerned, New York City is a foreign power. If we didn’t have the NYPD keeping an eye on those shifty quasi-Europeanized socialist fucks, there’d be Cuban amphibious assault ships heading up the Hudson before you could say ‘Viva Fidel!’.”

    A senior agency official concluded the press briefing before the spokesperson could go into more detail about his proposal to encircle suspect areas of New York City with a thirty-foot concrete barrier topped with razor wire in the interests of isolating it definitively from what he called ‘real America’.

  6. The same way that living in HUD projects subjects you to all kinds of repercussions for the most tenuous of violations, any CIA officer found to be engaging in domestic work should implicate their entire chain of command for federal criminal prosecution.

  7. Call me cynical, but I’m pretty sure I know how this one is going to play out.  What a waste of money and resources.

  8. I understand the skepticism of the CIA in particular, but the inspector generals of federal agencies actually are fairly independent and do routinely call out mismanagement or wrongdoing in their agencies. Obviously it would look better at first glance for someone else to investigate this sort of thing, but let’s not jerk our knees too sharply, lest we injure ourselves, OK?

  9. In much the same way as a good deal on the wrong thing is a bad deal, doing the right thing the wrong way is doing the wrong thing.

  10. “The government” is a very vast entity with many subdivisions, sometimes with opposing interests.

    Indeed. My experience working with government is that different offices even within the same building are unaware of and may be working in opposition to one another. Government monitoring the government CAN have value. Though, I agree it would be more credible that someone outside the agency was investigating.

  11. It’s especially unnerving that the NYPD (which is supposed to be, you know, nicer than the CIA) refuses even to take this token step of investigating itself.

  12. And it’s David Petraeus at he head of that entire new army. Oy. The one thing I took away from the various interviews/articles/profiles I’ve read on the guy is that he’s as diplomatic as Eisenhower, and opportunistic as LBJ. But, naturally, he’s a far less defined personality. In our age, the thickness and durability of one’s Teflon coating is the most important characteristic to have. Slippery fellow, that one. He would have made an outstandingly successful courtier in Louis XIV’s circle.

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