House Members: CIA Repeatedly Misled Congress

225px-leon_panetta_informal_photo200px-CIA.svgDespite the outrage expressed by certain members and former Bush officials over allegations that the CIA may have lied about prior briefings with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, members revealed this week that the CIA has admitted to members that it did indeed repeatedly mislead members in reports since 2001. However, CIA Director Leon Panetta stands by the earlier denial of misrepresentations linked to Pelosi.

The disclosure of the admission came in a letter published on the Web site of Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-California. The letter to Panetta notes: “Recently you testified that you have determined that top CIA officials have concealed significant actions from all members of Congress, and misled members for a number of years from 2001 to this week.” It is signed by Eshoo and six other House Democrats — Reps. John Tierney of Massachusetts, Mike Thompson of California, Rush Holt of New Jersey, Alcee Hastings of Florida, Adam Smith of Washington and Janice Schakowsky of Illinois.

If true, it is remarkable that no other members — particularly any Republicans — have spoken out on the matter. Misleading members is a nice way of saying that the CIA lied to members or gave it false information — a federal crime. One would think that any member on the oversight committees would demand accountability for such acts. This is another example of how laughable intelligence oversight has become in this country. Indeed, if it were not for the embarrassment of Pelosi, it seems unlikely that this would have ever been made public.

Indeed, the letter references the Pelosi controversy and asks Panetta to correct his May 15 statement “in light of your testimony.” His May 15th statement directly related to Pelosi.

This is what passes for oversight in Congress. There is evidence of criminal acts committed by intelligence agencies related to torture, unlawful surveillance, and false information. Yet, the committee only becomes aggressive when the Speaker is embarrassed by a prior briefing controversy.

You will also note that the members do not appear particularly bothered by the war crimes discussed in the Pelosi briefing or insistent on the investigation of such crimes. It is only the possibility that Pelosi might be vindicated that is the focus of this effort.

For the full story, click here.

23 thoughts on “House Members: CIA Repeatedly Misled Congress”

  1. It’s more than a little obvious that Panetta got orders from Team Obama to cover for Queen Nancy’s BS-spree… but their are other centers of power at Langley that won’t stand for this rubbish.

    And Pelosi was every bit as informed on the decision to us EITs as were the GOP… but is now lying about it in an attempt to appease the antiwar left and fulfill specious campaign posturing.

    And apparently Pelosi and Obama forgot something: the CIA KILLS people… it’s in their job description. Did these two really think that these killers were going to just meekly take-one-for-the-team… when the team captain is a lying, incompetent, arrogant nebbish who has basically told them they need to kiss his ring? -please

    Obama really kicked an ant hill with his ill-advised and politically motivated release of Bush Administration memos regarding EITs.

    Let’s have a hearing and get it all out there, shall we? Then watch the rats scatter who attacked Bush for protecting the country from terrorists… but who clearly knew what was going on five years before we heard a peep out of them.

  2. I hope people keep leaking on this story. I’m sure it’s still going on. This is chilling to free speech, freedom of assembly, destructive of atty./client privilege, and it’s the action of a police state. It must be exposed and stopped, completely.

  3. what we need to look at is the wholesale classification of information as being top secret or of national security interest. No doubt there are some instances where this is needed. however, most of the time it is to cover up activities that couldn’t stand up in the light of day.

  4. “…it’s an important battle about transparency…” -

    This is no joke. If we can’t trust the CIA, we may as well be dead in the water. Without a reliable intelligence-gathering organization, we can’t function on level with other countries of comparable intelligence-gathering capability.

  5. Panetta reportedly stopped “the program” in question. So there’s even more — many/most people just don’t know it yet. The program to which I’m refering continues to this day. Who is going to bring it to the fore? Who is going to stop it? Who/Which agency is behind it? Is it COINTELPRO?

    We need hearings with teeth. We need investigations.

  6. Mike A and raff,

    I agree. We’ve all been looking for a fulcrum to leverage the fascists into court with and this could be it. We’ve also been talking about organization in a round about and often tangential way, but this could be a real rally point. If Cheney was doing as they claim, there is no SoL on murder and it’s clearly not covered by any privilege. If provable, he’s screwed and but royally. How’s that for irony for the man who would be Emperor? And our chances of not falling totally into totalitarian fascism start to go up again or at least level out of the death spiral they are currently in as putting him on trial would force DC to change in the sunlight of public scrutiny. The proof will be in the eating of the pudding. Let’s see what Holder and the IG decide to do. Given what I’ve seen so far, eh, let’s just say I’m highly skeptical they’ll do the right thing without being forced to by public pressure.

    Time to get to work on some new projects, methinks.

  7. Buddha,
    I enjoyed the link, but if the House members are now aware of this alledgedly illegal activity run by Cheney, at this point why would they not push for full disclosure and put Cheney where he belongs? If the CIA lied to the Congress, the Reps don’t have to worry about catching any heat. I also have to echo Mike A’s wondering why this hasn’t hit the fan yet? This is a story, it true, that would blow the cover off of Washington.

  8. Buddha, thanks for the link. For the life of me, I can’t understand why this whole mess hasn’t exploded yet. Investigations should have already started.

  9. Mr. Panetta is playing word games. His response to the allegations focuses on CIA policy, rather than past actions. The dispute is nonsensical. I don’t believe that anyone seriously thinks that the CIA has been forthcoming in its briefings, particularly as they relate to the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

  10. The memo was sent to the head of the committee asking for some cover while the speaker does some more inane things, I am sure.

  11. I hope your intuition is right, Tatiana. I am amused that instead of just plain “lie”, they use the words “misled” and “lied affirmatively”. Of course they were not under oath, but the CIA lied to Congress, one of the three equal branches of our government while being a subgroup of one itself.

  12. Is this an immunization of something thats about to happen? Something is cooking in the kitchen for sure. Well, seems to me.

  13. Leon Panetta has spent so “long at the fair” of Beltway Insiderdom that there is little trust to be placed in anything he says. Sad, because once, long ago, he was a good man.

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