Amid the cloud of controversy he helped uncover, David Buckley is set to end his tenure at the US spy agency. Last summer, CIA employees hacked into computers being used by the Senate to investigate agency abuses.
CIA Inspector General David Buckley, the agency's internal watchdog, will resign at the end of the month, officials confirmed Monday, though they denied it had anything to do with the controversy surrounding the discovery that agency employees were hacking into computers used by Senate aides.
Buckley's office, which is tasked with investigating possible CIA malfeasance, found itself in the middle of a tense confrontation last year between the spy agency and the Senate Intelligence Committee, which was working on the now-infamous torture report.
The inspector general found that CIA employees had gained access to computers used by Intelligence Committee staff members, confirming Democrats' suspicions that the agency was attempting to prevent them seeing an internal agency review into torture and abuse during the Bush administration.
CIA Director John Brennan then had to issue an apology over the hacking scandal, although he complained that the Senate committee was given access to documents it should not have been allowed to see.
Despite this, Brennan had kind words for Buckley: "David has made important contributions to the agency and strengthened the Office of Inspector General, improving its ability to uncover and prevent waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement."
Civil liberties advocates were unhappy at the move. Christopher Anders of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) cited the importance of the inspector general, saying he was "one of the few people who has tried to impose some accountability on the CIA" at a time when "the White House and many in Congress are failing to do their oversight jobs."
Buckley's resignation comes amid a series of recommendations to prevent future CIA abuses from Senator Dianne Feinstein, outgoing chairwoman of the intelligence committee. One of her proposals is to increase the power of the inspector general position, along with the suggestion that all "national security interrogations" be videotaped.
es/bk (AP, Reuters)