CIA Doesn't Think It's Keeping Too Many Secrets

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 11:  Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan delivers remarks at the Council on Foreign Rela
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 11: Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan delivers remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations March 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. Brennan recently denied accusations by U.S. senators who claim the CIA conducted unauthorized searches of computers used by Senate Select Committee on Intelligence staff members in an effort to learn how the committee gained access to the agencyÕs own 2009 internal review of its detention and interrogation program, undermining CongressÕ oversight of the spy agency. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The CIA is locked in an epic battle with the Senate over how much information about its George W. Bush-era torture tactics should be released. Senators are lambasting the CIA's "culture of misinformation," but the agency doesn't seem to have taken the criticisms to heart.

In a September 2013 report, the CIA's inspector general could find "no instances" of over-classification. The report, obtained Wednesday by The Huffington Post under the Freedom of Information Act, was based on a sample of CIA intelligence reports.

The report was produced in response to a federal law meant to reduce over-classification. In January, the CIA refused to release the report to HuffPost until after it underwent a review process.

"The report is a disappointment, and a missed opportunity," Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy expert at the Federation of American Scientists, told HuffPost in an email. "It focuses on narrow issues of regulatory compliance .... and it totally misses the larger questions about CIA classification policy."

The torture report debate is part of a broader, ongoing discussion about CIA secrecy. For instance, the agency has fought for years to keep its role in the drone program an official secret.

The report did find a number of other problems with how the CIA keeps its secrets, including "numerous errors" in how classification markings are presented on internal computer networks, an imprecise classification guide and a training course crippled by "insufficient bandwidth." Only 43 percent of CIA personnel completed the classification training course in 2012, the report said. In that same year, CIA employees made more than 27 million derivative classification decisions.

The report concluded with four recommendations, all of which were redacted.



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