Departing CIA watchdog seen as lacking in aggression and independence

McClatchy reports: When word recently leaked that the CIA inspector general was preparing to step down, agency Director John Brennan issued a glowing statement about his watchdog’s work.

Left unsaid was the role CIA Inspector General David Buckley had in refereeing one of the most acrimonious disputes between a spy director and his congressional overseers in decades.

Only months before, Buckley’s office had found that CIA employees had improperly monitored Senate Intelligence Committee staffers’ work on their torture inquiry – contradicting Brennan’s previous denial.

On Friday, Buckley maintained to McClatchy that he hadn’t experienced any backlash from agency leadership.

“It’s not always pleasant, but they don’t shoot the messenger,” he said in a 20-minute interview at CIA headquarters as he headed to an undisclosed job in the private sector. “Doing this job is tough. But there has been no undue pressure or interference here.”

Multiple people who were familiar with his work offered a more complicated portrayal of his tenure, asserting he leaves behind an office roiling with dissent over how to watchdog the nation’s most powerful intelligence agency. Buckley’s own staff had filed formal complaints about his management, according to the people who spoke to McClatchy. [Continue reading…]

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