The CIA Is Investigating Its Muslim Spying Program

The agency wants to "make sure we are doing the right thing"

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It's sure to be a proud day over at the Associated Press. The CIA has launched an internal investigation into whether it broke the law when spying on U.S. Muslims in its close collaboration with the New York City Police Department. The anti-terrorism program was the subject of an 8-month-long investigation by the AP, which found that the NYPD "dispatched undercover officers into ethnic communities to monitor daily life and scrutinized more than 250 mosques and Muslim student groups in the years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks." Today, the CIA's new director David Petraeus said a CIA adviser at the NYPD wants "to make sure we are doing the right thing."

Critics of the program, such as police reporter Len Levitt, accused the program of targeting "virtually every level of Muslim life in New York City, from cafes to grammar schools" without always having "specific tips about wrongdoing." Still, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, says the privacy of Americans was not violated by the CIA-NYPD partnership. Whether the investigation will lead to anything more than an investigation is an open question. Boing Boing's Xeni Jardin, for one, isn't optimistic. "Good to know that the CIA will let us know whether the CIA broke the law."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.