Press Releases

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein today issued the following statement in response to news reports that the Central Intelligence Agency hired outside contractors as part of a recently terminated classified program.

Following is the statement of Senator Feinstein:

“The first thing to remember is that the program has been canceled. It was fully briefed to the Senate Intelligence Committee, first by Director Panetta in June, and afterward through additional oversight.

The program was never briefed to the Congress before June despite a clear requirement in law to keep the intelligence committees ‘fully and currently informed.’  This was a sensitive program and had, in fact, gone beyond the simple planning stage.

It is clear to me that the failure to notify before now constituted a violation of law. That’s a big problem and it should never ever happen again.  Every significant intelligence operation and covert action must be briefed to the Congress.  If they are not, that is a violation of the law.

While this is already the case, the Senate Intelligence Committee has included a provision in the Fiscal Year 2010 Intelligence Authorization bill that clearly states that there is no exception to the legal requirement to notify Congress.

While I will not confirm or deny the allegations in recent press articles, I have believed for a long time that the Intelligence Community is over-reliant on contractors to carry out its work.  This is especially a problem when contractors are used to carry out activities that are inherently governmental.”