A C.I.A.-appointed panel will recommend that C.I.A. officers who were found to have spied upon members of the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating the agency's use of torture not be punished for getting caught, the New York Times reports.

Some of those under investigation for this flagrant breach of the separation of powers defended themselves by saying C.I.A. director John O. Brennan supported the action. According to the Times, they "pointed to documents — including notes of a phone call with Mr. Brennan — that they said indicated that the director supported their actions, according to interviews with a half dozen current and former government officials and others briefed on the case."

The C.I.A. began monitoring Senate staffers as the Intelligence Committee began an investigation into whether the agency did or did not torture people, the results of which were released this week. Turns out, they did.

Brennan authorized his officers to look into whether Senate staffers had found out about the so-called "Panetta review," an internal investigation ordered by former director Leon Panetta in 2009 which was never provided to the Intelligence Committee.

"While effectively rejecting the most significant conclusions of the inspector general's report, the panel, appointed by Mr. Brennan and composed of three C.I.A. officers and two members from outside the agency, is still expected to criticize agency missteps that contributed to the fight with Congress," the Times reports. Haha. Okay! Sure, why not.

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