July 9, 2009

Andrea Mitchell reports on the latest dust up between the CIA and House Democrats. Spencer Ackerman has more:

On June 26, six seven Democrats on the committee — Anna Eshoo (Calif.), John Tierney (Mass.), Rush Holt (N.J.), Mike Thompson (Calif.), Alcee Hastings (Fla.) and Jan Schakowsky (Ill.) [Update: I received an early version of the letter. Rep. Adam Smith (Wash.) also signed it) — wrote to Panetta, “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.” The letter — which doesn’t explain what those “significant actions” concerned — asks that Panetta “publicly correct” his May 15 statement that it isn’t CIA “policy or practice to mislead Congress.” TWI acquired a copy of the letter, which comes after CQ reported that committee chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas) also nebulously stated that CIA “affirmatively lied” to the committee.

But CIA spokesman George Little says it’s “completely wrong” to say Panetta determined CIA misled Congress, as the six legislators charge. “Director Panetta stands by his May 15 statement,” Little said. “It is not the policy or practice of the CIA to mislead Congress.

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