Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pelosi claim CIA lied validated

Pelosi claim CIA lied validated by House Intelligence Committee
By Jared Allen - TheHill 10/27/09

Democrats on the Intelligence Committee have concluded that the CIA did not fully inform Congress about the use of enhanced interrogation techniques during a September 2002 briefing.

The new report seemingly validates House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) claim earlier this year that she was lied to about the program.

Reps. Jan Schakowsky and Anna Eshoo – the chairwomen of a pair of subcommittees investigating the legitimacy of briefings given to Congress by intelligence officials – have identified at least five instances going back to at least 2001 in which the C.I.A. withheld information from or lied to Congress, the two Democrats said on Tuesday.

At least one the C.I.A.’s obfuscations was already known. A 2008 C.I.A. Inspector Generals report determined that the agency withheld information from Congress relating to the shooting down of a plane carrying missionaries over Peru in 2001.

But Schakowsky said their ongoing investigation found that the practice of incomplete briefings or outright lying was part of a “large disease” of misinforming even the chairmen of the select intelligence committees.

On June 24 of this year current C.I.A. Director Leon Panetta first alerted the House Intelligence Committee about a top-secret program to assassinate top al Qaeda operatives, and it was long suspected that the agency had been ordered by Vice President Cheney to keep Congress in the dark.

Schakowsky and Eshoo identified “Director Panetta’s June 24 notification” as one of the five instances linked to a complete communication breakdown between the intelligence community and Congress.

In addition, the C.I.A. withheld information or lied about the 2005 destruction of videotapes recording the interrogation of al Qaeda operatives by intelligence officials, and the agency had also done so during a September 2002 briefing of the so-called “Gang of Eight” in Congress on the enhanced interrogation of terrorism suspects, Schakowsky and Eshoo said.