Leon Panetta and GOP Leaders Owe Nancy Pelosi an Apology

CIA Director Leon Panetta told the House Intelligence Committee in late June that the CIA consistently misled, misinformed, and in at least one case, outright lied to Congress for eight years, beginning in 2001 and ending on the date of his testimony toward the end of last month:

In a June 26 letter to Mr. Panetta discussing his testimony, Democrats said that the agency had “misled members” of Congress for eight years about the classified matters, which the letter did not disclose. “This is similar to other deceptions of which we are aware from other recent periods,” said the letter, made public late Wednesday by Representative Rush D. Holt, Democrat of New Jersey, one of the signers.

In an interview, Mr. Holt declined to reveal the nature of the C.I.A.’s alleged deceptions,. But he said, “We wouldn’t be doing this over a trivial matter.”

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Silvestre Reyes, Democrat of Texas, referred to Mr. Panetta’s disclosure in a letter to the committee’s ranking Republican, Representative Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, Congressional Quarterly reported on Wednesday. Mr. Reyes wrote that the committee “has been misled, has not been provided full and complete notifications, and (in at least one occasion) was affirmatively lied to.”

This testimony directly contradicts Panetta’s statement in mid-May, after Nancy Pelosi accused the CIA of misleading and lying to her and to other key intelligence committee members about the CIA’s torture program (emphasis mine):

CIA Director Leon Panetta just sent a stern message to his employees defending the agency against Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s criticisms.

His message: We didn’t mislead Congress; stay focused on your job.

Panetta’s note was sent to reporters via the CIA press office. Here’s the key graph:

Let me be clear: It is not our policy or practice to mislead Congress. That is against our laws and our values. As the Agency indicated previously in response to Congressional inquiries, our contemporaneous records from September 2002 indicate that CIA officers briefed truthfully on the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, describing “the enhanced techniques that had been employed.” Ultimately, it is up to Congress to evaluate all the evidence and reach its own conclusions about what happened.”

Meanwhile, Pres. Obama threatened to veto the intelligence funding authorization bill making its way through Congress right now because of a provision House Democrats inserted to include all intelligence committee members in the House and Senate in briefings on covert intelligence operations. Right now only key members from each party in the House and Senate (the so-called Gang of Eight) are so briefed.

The most transparent administration ever? Yeah. Right.

Lots of commentary here.

One Response to “Leon Panetta and GOP Leaders Owe Nancy Pelosi an Apology”

  1. John Holmes says:

    C’mon now, Nancy lied and needs to apologize. She made a hella accusation to cover her ass then we find out that she was in the briefings all along. What a joke, this woman is just plain stupid, and you guys bark about Palin?? Pelosi proves that anyone can be in congress.

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