Two leading U.S. newspapers report that the CIA is conducting an internal inquiry into the office that investigates the CIA's conduct.
The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times say the highly unusual inquiry comes as the independent Inspector General at the CIA has been conducting intensive reviews of several controversial CIA programs. They include the treatment and interrogation of terror suspects and the secret arrest of such suspects overseas.
A spokesman for the CIA says the agency director, who is reported to have ordered the review, greatly respects the work of the Inspector General's office. The CIA is directed by General Michael Hayden. The Inspector General is John Helgerson. The spokesman added that General Hayden's only goal is to help the office do its work even better.
Both newspapers report that many in the agency feel Inspector General Helgerson's investigations have damaged morale and hindered careers.
The articles quote unnamed officials at the agency as saying the probes have gone on for years, posing a huge financial burden on officers who have had to retain lawyers.
The newspapers add that CIA employees also feel that many of the investigations involve second-guessing agency actions, a complaint that CIA Director Hayden has made publicly about the many inquiries into the agency's failures in fighting terrorism.