Four CIA officers were sent to join the ranks of the New York City Police Department in the decade after the 9/11 attacks, but the unstructured arrangement gave agency officials unauthorized access to local police operations.
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According to a newly disclosed CIA inspector general's report, one officer believed there were no limitations on his activities, while another was given "unfiltered" police reports that included information unrelated to foreign intelligence, The New York Times reported
CIA Inspector General David Buckley concluded in the report that the collaboration was fraught with "irregular personnel practices," that it lacked "formal documentation in some important instances," and that "there was inadequate direction and control" by agency supervisors.
"While negative public perception is to be expected from the revelation of the agency's close and direct collaboration with any local domestic police department, a perception that the agency has exceeded its authorities diminishes the trust placed in the organization," Buckley wrote in a cover memo to then-CIA director David Petraeus, the Times reported.
The December 2011 report was classified until a recent Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the nonprofit civil-liberties group Electronic Privacy Information Center forced the agency to disclose the report's executive summary.
"The CIA is not permitted to engage in domestic surveillance," Ginger McCall, director of the group's Open Government Project, told The Times. "Despite the assurances of the CIA's press office, the activities documented in this report cross the line and highlight the need for more oversight."
CIA spokesman Dean Boyd told The Times that the inspector general found no legal violations or evidence that the agency's counterterrorism support to the police constituted "domestic spying."
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The report comes in the wake of heightened public interest in domestic spying following the disclosure of the National Security Agency's surveillance program and other lawsuits against the NYPD
for its post-9/11 surveillance of Muslim communities.
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