A coalition of 20 transparency and ethics watchdog groups are fed up with CIA Director John Brennan's leadership and are calling on President Obama to ask him to step down.
The group, which includes the Project on Government Oversight, the Sunlight Foundation and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, among many others, on Tuesday accused the CIA of abusing its power and obstructing the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into agency’s use of torture in the years following the Sept. 11 attacks.
In a letter to President Obama, the groups, which includes a number of left-leaning organizations, argued that the CIA has repeatedly tried to conceal and obstruct oversight of its detention and interrogation practices.
“Director Brennan did not begin this pattern, but he has continued and reinforced it,” the groups said. “The ongoing misconduct of the CIA, both prior to Mr. Brennan and under his leadership, sends a message to CIA employees, and creates an impression to the public that it is an agency without limits.”
Obama last week said he remains confident in Brennan’s leadership despite a CIA inspector general report found that some agency employees acted in a manner “inconsistent” with the understanding the Senate and the agency set up regarding computers Senate aides used to access classified documents during its investigation into the CIA’s history of detention and interrogation activities
Brennan apologized to Senate Intelligence Committee leaders before Congress left for its August recess and set up an “accountability board” to weigh potential disciplinary action for those involved in the Senate snooping.
The apology and admission of some level of guilt stands in stark contrast to Brennan’s angry denials early this year after Feinstein openly and angrily accused the CIA of spying on the Senate.
At the time Brennan said: “Nothing could be further from the truth” and called the allegation “beyond the scope of reason.”