CIA Spies Were Embedded Inside the NYPD

A newly released 2011 report from the CIA's inspector general reveals that the CIA embedded four officers inside the NYPD's intelligence division after 9/11. The CIA, of course, is not allowed to spy on Americans. And they didn't, according to the CIA!

The inspector general's report concludes that the CIA officers inside the NYPD neither "exercised law enforcement powers [nor] engaged in intelligence activities solely directed at the domestic activities of US persons." It also says that the NYPD is the only domestic police force with which the CIA has such a relationship. However, the report does raise serious questions about at least two CIA officers who went to work with the NYPD. From the NYT:

That officer believed there were “no limitations” on his activities, the report said, because he was on an unpaid leave of absence, and thus exempt from the prohibition against domestic spying by members of the C.I.A.

Another embedded C.I.A. analyst — who was on its payroll — said he was given “unfiltered” police reports that included information unrelated to foreign intelligence, the C.I.A. report said.

In other words, the report finds that 1) CIA officers did, in all likelihood, engage in activities that sure do appear to violate the ban on spying on Americans, and then concludes that, 2) CIA officers inside the NYPD did not violate the ban on spying on Americans. (Either way, the NYPD is quite capable of spying all by itself.)

God damn it CIA, you will never stamp out out the world's crazy conspiracy theorists if you keep on proving them right.

[NYT. The full report is here. Photo: AP]