Did the C.I.A. Lie to Congress?

cia

Several of our readers have been complaining—and probably rightly so—about the number of posts dedicated to Sarah Palin, Michael Jackson and Mark Sanford, because more important issues were being ignored.

Well, I can hardly think of a more important issue than our Central Intelligence Agency lying to our legislators.

That is exactly what some Democrats are claiming.

According to the New York Times this morning, in : “Democrats Say C.I.A. Deceived Congress“:

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.

And, in a letter from the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Silvestre Reyes, to the committee’s ranking Republican, Representative Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, Mr. Reyes reportedly said that the committee “has been misled, has not been provided full and complete notifications, and (in at least one occasion) was affirmatively lied to.”

In “Panetta Acknowledged CIA Misled On Interrogation Policy: Dem Lawmakers,” The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein is more direct:

CIA Director Leon Panetta told lawmakers in a recent briefing that the intelligence agency he heads misled Congress on “significant actions” for a “number of years,” a group of Democrats revealed on Wednesday.

Stein’ article includes a photocopy of the June 26 letter written to Panetta by seven Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee. In it, the CIA chief is urged to “publicly correct” an earlier statement he made in which he insisted that it was not agency policy to mislead Congress.

The letter concludes with the words:

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. This is similar to other deceptions of which we are aware from other recent periods.

Perhaps, this somewhat more important news will finally get us off the Palin, Jackson, Sanford merry-go-round.

Author: DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist