ADAM GOLDMAN and MATT APUZZO
January 20, 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) – The CIA’s top lawyer never approved sending a veteran agency officer to New York, where he helped set up police spying programs, The Associated Press has learned. Such approval would have been required under the presidential order that Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said authorized the unusual assignment.
Normally, when the CIA dispatches one of its officers to work in another government agency, rules are spelled out in advance in writing to ensure the CIA doesn’t cross the line into domestic spying. Under a 1981 presidential order, the CIA is permitted to provide “specialized equipment, technical knowledge or assistance of expert personnel” to local law enforcement agencies but only when the CIA’s general counsel approves in each case.
Neither of those things happened in 2002, when CIA Director George Tenet sent veteran agency officer Lawrence Sanchez to New York, former U.S. intelligence officials told the AP. While on the CIA’s payroll, Sanchez was the architect of spying programs that transformed the NYPD into one of the nation’s most aggressive domestic intelligence agencies.
… In a series of investigative reports since August, the AP has revealed that, with the CIA’s help, the NYPD developed spying programs that monitored every aspect of Muslim life and built databases on where innocent Muslims eat, shop, work and pray. Plainclothes officers monitored conversations in Muslim neighborhoods and wrote daily reports about what they heard.