Wire: CIA Director Leon E Panetta Tells Lawmakers CIA Officials Have Misled Congress Since 2001
Off the Wire:
WASHINGTON, July 8, 2009 -- Newswire services this evening reported that Central Intelligence Agency Director Leon E. Panetta has told lawmakers that CIA officials misled Congress "for a number of years" since 2001, according to a letter released Wednesday from six Democrat lawmakers.
The lawmakers say the CIA also withheld information about unspecified "significant actions."
The letter didn't identify when Panetta made the statements or to what actions they referred.
"This is similar to other deceptions of which we are aware from other recent periods," the letter said.
The Wall Street Journal reported that CIA spokesman George Little said "it is not the policy or practice of the CIA to mislead Congress." Mr. Little said the CIA itself "took the initiative to notify the oversight committees" about the lapses.
WSJ noted that the release of the letter is the latest twist in a tussle between House Democrats and the CIA. Earlier this year, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the CIA of misleading her in briefings about the agency's use of waterboarding, an allegation refuted by the agency and challenged by Republicans.
It also comes one day before the House is scheduled to debate an intelligence bill. President Barack Obama issued a veto threat on Wednesday over provisions that would require more expansive briefings of intelligence committee members on sensitive matters, the Wall Street Journal said.
(Report from newswire sources.)
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