How careless can an intelligence chief be? JOHN DEUTCH, former CIA director, seems to have been very careless indeed. In 1995 and 1996 he shunned a secure CIA computer, opting to compose 74 documents containing highly classified information, including memos to the President and Cabinet members, on an unsecure Macintosh at his home. Worse, he used the same computer for personal e-mail, receiving a note from a former Russian citizen living in Western Europe. Deutch family members also surfed the Web on it; one visited porn sites.
Now Deutch's successor and onetime protege, George Tenet, and other agency underlings are accused of mishandling the matter once it came to light. An inspector general's report, leaked last week to the New York Times, concludes that Tenet and his colleagues took actions that delayed the investigation. Those close to the probe say it wasn't a cover-up--rather that Tenet et al. were concerned about protecting the Deutch family's privacy. But Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Shelby will hold hearings this week to see if Deutch got special treatment from Tenet and others. Tenet suspended Deutch's CIA security clearance last August but has not revoked it. Deutch retains clearance at the Pentagon.
--By Massimo Calabresi/Washington