Lawmakers in both houses of the U.S. Congress, including the outspoken Sen. Patrick Leahy, on Thursday and Friday condemned the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) after its officers admitted "the Company" had spied on Senators and their investigators who were investigating claims that the CIA utilized "torture" when interrogating terrorist suspects.
While the current, Obama-appointed CIA Director John Brennan practically groveled in front of lawmakers and apologized to them and especially to the head of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
In the past, Brennan denied the accusation, but now he admitted to Senators' -- and their staffers' -- computers had been accessed by the CIA.
While Feinstein displayed an enormous amount of anger about the allegations, it was Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who is known to many in the intelligence community and within law enforcement as "Leaky Leahy", who displayed what critics called "the epitome of Chutzpah."
"I am appalled that the CIA searched the computers of Senate staffers who were working to shed light on a very dark chapter in our nation's history," Leahy said.
"The CIA's misconduct threatens the institution of the Senate and its role in ensuring the proper oversight of our government," he scolded.
"Listen, I'm not going to defend lawlessness, but these Senators have failed to define what is and what's not torture.The fact that there is evidence that such harsh interrogations led to the capture of dangerous Islamists and the killing of terrorism icon Osama bin Laden by the U.S. makes punishing the alleged torturers seem unfair," said former anti-terrorism police unit member Jorge Cervesal.
"What gets my goat is hearing [Sen. Leahy] moaning and groaning about Senators being spied on, when, if I were in charge of the CIA counterintelligence division, I'd have my agents keep an eye on Leahy and his staff," Cervesal noted.
Just how did Leahy garner the nickname "Leaky?" According to news reports, in 1987 news stories revealed that while he was a member of the Senate intelligence committee Leahy leaked secrets about a covert action being planned by the Reagan administration to oust Libya's dictator Moamar Khadhafi.
Reports indicated that Leahy threatened the CIA's director at the time, William Casey, with exposure of the operation and then the secret plan was reported verbatim by the Democratic Party cheerleaders at the Washington Post and that caused the plan to be quashed.
After other alleged leaks, Sen. Leahy was forced to resign his Intelligence Committee post after he again was caught leaking secret information to a reporter. However, it is he in his capacity as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee who will probably conduct the probe into possible criminal actions by intelligence agents who could face disciplinary action or even criminal charges.