A year ago, the CIA released the results of its own internal investigation into whether the agency had used the drug Ceva to keep its warfighters on the battlefield.
A year later, the agency says, the inquiry was closed.
Now, in a new report, the Office of the Inspector General has found that the CIA didn’t follow all the rules in the process.
And that may have been the case because the agency was aware of Ceva’s ability to cause respiratory distress, and the agency didn’t fully understand how that might have occurred, the IG said.
The IG also found that Ceva had been tested at least twice, and in both cases the results were negative.
The CIA’s internal investigation of Cevas use in Afghanistan concluded that “the agency did not demonstrate that the risk posed by Ceva exposure was a threat to the nation or U.S. interests.”
And the IG also said that the Agency’s response to the inquiry found that it didn’t “properly” collect and analyze data on the drug.
The agency declined to comment.
“Ceva remains one of the most potent drugs that the United States has ever used against its enemies,” said Mark Mazur, an attorney for Ceva, in an email to Wired.
“As long as the agency has continued to use Ceva in Afghanistan and other countries, it will continue to face scrutiny and criticism from the public and Congress.
This is just one example of the problems with its policy, which has allowed it to remain in the black.”
The IG’s report does not specifically address whether the CIA or DEA made any mistakes in its investigation of the drug, but the CIA has been under fire from both lawmakers and human rights groups over its use of the substance, as well as the deaths of some of its soldiers who were using the drug and the drug-related injuries they sustained.
The investigation found that “CIA’s failure to fully account for Cevals use in combat during the Afghan War is consistent with its failure to properly test its soldiers, which is contrary to Agency guidance and the Geneva Conventions.”
The Office of Special Counsel, a nonpartisan government watchdog, said in a statement that the IG’s review is “deeply troubling” because “the Agency’s repeated failure to disclose that it had failed to test and analyze Ceva” in its investigations is “likely the source of the Agencys continued failure to adhere to international standards for conducting its drug testing program.”
The Senate Intelligence Committee has been investigating the CIA’s use of Crava for nearly two years, and it has requested documents related to the investigation.
Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena for documents related the investigation, which included the agency’s response in its internal inquiry, its response to questions from Congress, and Ceva.
In the report, investigators noted that the report also found the CIA was “very likely aware that the use of [Ceva] by its soldiers was a risk to the Afghan population.”
The report noted that at least one Ceva supplier had been indicted on charges of trafficking in narcotics.
“CIA had reason to know that using Ceva was a risky activity,” the report said.
“The Agency had reason also to know how to mitigate the risk.”
The CIA has also been under investigation by the Office’s Office of Inspector General for a number of other aspects of its drug use, including the use and abuse of a new opioid, OxyContin.
Last year, the Justice Department charged the agency with violating the Controlled Substances Act for a lack of adequate oversight and compliance with federal drug laws.
The report notes that “some of the CIAs activities, such as the illegal use of OxyContin, violated federal law by failing to follow all applicable laws and regulations” and by “not adequately testing and evaluating its OxyContin.”
In a statement, the DEA said the report “further demonstrates that the DEA has failed to adequately monitor the use, production, and abuse by DEA-authorized agents of the new opioid.”
The agency has also faced criticism for its handling of the war in Afghanistan.
The government’s response found that CIAs use of narcotics in Afghanistan was “a significant public health concern” and that the agency “failed to follow appropriate protocols for the safe use and distribution of narcotics.”
But the report found that “[t]he DEA was also aware of the risks associated with the use by CIA-authorized personnel and agents of narcotics,” and that “as a result of the DEA’s own risk assessment, CIA-approved personnel and Agents were prescribed and given narcotics that were not authorized by the DEA.”
The DEA has also received a number other criticism over its drug policy.
The inspector general found that drug use by agents in the field “has been a significant public safety issue,” but the report didn’t identify specific incidents.
The DEA also has been criticized for its decision to allow doctors to prescribe opioids, even though some of those prescriptions have been linked to overdoses, including deaths.