Inspecting the Inspectors at the CIA
The director of the CIA is investigating the man responsible for investigating the CIA? The New York Times suggests this unprecedented inquiry is due to the Inspector General’s aggressive investigations of CIA detention and interrogation practices.
A report by [CIA Inspector General] Mr. Helgerson’s office completed in the spring of 2004 warned that some C.I.A.-approved interrogation procedures appeared to constitute cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, as defined by the international Convention Against Torture.
Some of the inspector general’s work on detention issues was conducted by Mary O. McCarthy, who was fired from the agency last year after being accused of leaking classified information. Officials said Mr. Helgerson’s office was nearing completion on a number of inquiries into C.I.A. detention, interrogation, and “renditions” — the practice of seizing suspects and delivering them to the authorities in other nations.
The L.A. Times reporting expresses the same concern.
The move has prompted concerns that Hayden is seeking to rein in an inspector general who has used the office to bring harsh scrutiny of CIA figures including former Director George J. Tenet and undercover operatives running secret overseas prison sites.