Who Was the Short-Sighted Personnel Guy at CIA Who Set up NYPD-on-the-Hudson in 2002?
As Charlie Savage reports, the CIA’s IG report on CIA-on-the-Hudson has finally been released. It finds that the decision to put CIA personnel at NYPD was ill-advised and poorly managed by CIA’s executives who oversaw the arrangement.
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. This has the added potential of impeding our ability to effectively support law enforcement at both the local and federal level. Additionally, the risk that CIA officers could become involved in law enforcement matters exists if implementing procedures and policies to designed such collaboration are not clearly understood. A lapse in any one of these components has the potential to make Agency officers vulnerable and could jeopardize the vital mission the Agency performs.
The revelation of these issues, as discussed in more detail in the Executive Summary, leads me to conclude that the risks associated with the Agency’s relationship with NYPD were not fully considered and that there was inadequate direction and control by the Agency managers responsible for the relationship. [my emphasis]
Amid descriptions of violations of protections for Americans, the report describes basic personnel problems with the arrangement.
In addition, there appears to have been no documentation between CIA and NYPD addressing specifically the employee’s role concerning access to NYPD records and the practices to be followed with respect to the sharing of lead information.
… better documentation of the arrangement, practices, and appropriate approvals was warranted.
Unfortunately, the report does not name all the “senior CIA managers” who first implemented such an ill-considered program — it only says the first CIA officer was sent under George Tenet’s authority.
In early 2002, senior CIA management received requests for increased Intelligence Community (IC) support from federal, state, and local law enforcement, to include the NYPD. A Concept of Operations (CONOP) was developed by senior Agency officers in April 2002 for a temporary duty assignment (TDY) of a seasoned Directorate of Intelligence (DI) analyst to New York City for a six to nine month period under Director of Central Intelligence Authorities. 1
1 … DCI Tenet directed [redacted–AP reported this as Larry Sanchez] to New York City in 2002 under his DCI authorities as manager of the intelligence community.
Sanchez would be there from June 4, 2002 to March 2004, after which he took Leave without Pay and served at the NYPD full time until May 2009.
Sanchez believed he had “no restrictions” as to what he could and couldn’t do at NYPD.
The report makes it clear Sanchez served as a cop during the 5 years he was at NYPD while on LWOP. It doesn’t explain what he did in the first 2 years there, when he was still officially at the CIA, during which time — the report makes clear — serving as a cop would have violated restrictions on CIA officers serving as law enforcement.
Now, the report provides more details about how two of the other three CIA officers shared with the NYPD got sent. It names titles — Associate Deputy Director, Director of National Clandestine Services, Senior Deputy General Counsel as being involve d in the later decisions. It decides a Memorandum of Notification and warnings against engaging in domestic law enforcement (though that didn’t stop the person in question from filtering up to 12 reports a day up to CIA). For the third (whose transfer didn’t have that kind of guidance), names are named, including that of Deputy Director Mike Morell and Director/NCS John Bennett.
In short, Sanchez’s assignment may or may not have been as bad when, for a period in 2008, CIA was getting direct access to NYPD’s domestic intelligence reports. But at least from this review it seems like his assignment was one of the biggest clusterfucks from a management perspective.
You know? From the period when John Brennan was Deputy Executive Director at the CIA, “focused on administrative and workforce issues.” The same John Brennan who, after these practices were exposed, insisted he was “intimately familiar” with the program but that the CIA “knew what the rules were” — rules that, particularly for Sanchez while Brennan was still DExDir, simply weren’t in place.
Brennan’s potential role in this clusterfuck is all the more interesting given the timing of the report. It was written while he was the President’s top counterterrorism advisor. EPIC FOIAed the document March 28, 2012. CIA denied it expedited processing. So EPIC sued on December 20, 2012. CIA asked for one one week delay a few weeks after Brennan was confirmed Director.
And now this comes out, the day before Brennan heads to the Senate Intelligence Committee to tell them their 6,000 page report on torture is wrong.
It sure sounds like a report held to avoid embarrassing Brennan.
But don’t worry. We didn’t need to have any public airing of Brennan’s role — aside from his vague admission he knew about the program — before he got the authority to replicate the program elsewhere.
In superb news, late last night, the NYC City Council passed, with veto proof majorities, two bills that would provide real oversight for the NYPD.