CIA Director Leon Panetta told Congress last month that senior CIA officials have concealed significant actions and misled lawmakers repeatedly since 2001, the chairman and other members of the House Intelligence Committee said in letters revealed Wednesday.
Seven Democratic members of the Intelligence Committee wrote to Panetta in late June and asked him to "publicly correct" his May 15 statement that it is not the "policy or practice of the agency to mislead Congress," a copy of the letter obtained by FOX News shows.
FOX News has confirmed that the letter stems from testimony Panetta gave behind closed doors to the Intelligence Committee on June 24. The letter says Panetta told the committee 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."
Now, it isn't merely Nancy Pelosi that has claimed that the CIA has lied to Congress. Now, seven DEMOCRATIC members of the Intelligence Committee have also made the same accusation. The letter was NOT written on Congressional stationary. Of course, no Republicans signed onto this letter. (even though presumably they would have been present at the hearing in question) The release of this letter comes day before an Intelligence committee hearing in which would expand the number of legislators briefed on sensitive operations. It was wildly expected that Republicans would make Pelosi's earlier charges in May that the CIA lied a part of the intelligence debate.
The time period that Democrats claim the CIA lied started in 2001 or during the Bush administration ONLY.
So, someone has some serious explaining to do. If Panetta knew that CIA officials were systematically lying to Congress, and claimed in public they were truthful then he needs to go. Furthermore, this would indicate he did nothing about his agency's systematic misleading of the Congress. If Democrats are mischaraterizing what the CIA is telling them then they need to pay a serious price politically in November 2010.
Obviously, no one knows for sure which side is telling the truth. Was Leon Panetta's public statements different than what he told Congressional ? Are the Democrats trying to smear our intelligence apparatus to score political points? Either way, someone has some explaining to do.