May 20, 2009 / by emptywheel


Issa: Waaahhhh! Dems All Reminding Us of Lies CIA Told in 2002!

Here’s Darrell Issa, in the process of getting schooled by Tweety, who called him on his grandstanding attempt to get the FBI to investigate Nancy Pelosi’s allegation that the CIA led to her on September 4, 2002. (Somehow, neither Issa nor Tweety seem interested in the fact that Porter Goss’ statements, to date, support Pelosi’s contention that CIA didn’t tell Congress waterboarding had already been used before they were briefed.)

But I’m more interested in the attention that Issa pays to a much more inflammatory accusation that Paul Kanjorski has made. In his effort to suggest all the Democrats are beating up on CIA, Issa notes that Paul Kanjorski says "he was lied to a week later."

It appears that Issa is not saying that Kanjorski was lied to in recent days (a week after Pelosi made the claim), but rather that Kanjorski says he was lied to in the week after September 4, 2002. Which seems to be this accusation.

In a town hall meeting in Bloomsburg, Pa. this week [leading up to September 3, 2007], Rep. Paul Kanjorski, a 12-term congressman, said that shortly before Congress was scheduled to vote on authorizing military force against Iraq, top officials of the CIA showed select members of Congress three photographs it alleged were Iraqi Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), better known as drones. Kanjorski said he was told that the drones were capable of carrying nuclear, biological, or chemical agents, and could strike 1,000 miles inland of east coast or west coast cities.

Kanjorski said he and four or five other congressmen in the room were told UAVs could be on freighters headed to the U.S. Both secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and President Bush wandered into and out of the briefing room, Kanjorski said.

Kanjorski said it was the second time he was called to the White House for a briefing. He had opposed giving the President the powers to go to war, and said that he hadn’t changed his mind after a first meeting. Until he saw the pictures, Kanjorski said, "I hadn’t thought that Iraq was a threat." That second meeting changed everything. After he left that meeting, said Kanjorski, he was willing to give the President the authorization he wanted since the drones "represented an imminent danger."


Several years later, Kanjorski said he learned that the pictures were "a god-damned lie," apparently taken by CIA photographers in the desert in the southwest of the U.S. The drone story itself had already been disproved, although not many major media carried that story. [my emphasis]

Issa’s caught up in trying to smear Pelosi, yet he’s unconcerned by the allegation that the CIA went out to the desert and trumped up some "Iraq UAV" pictures? Really? Or perhaps he thinks Paul Kanjorski has turned into a nutter? 

Because this allegation–which I’m not sure I had seen before–suggests the CIA was doing far more than trying to hide the fact they hadn’t given Congress notice of torture in timely fashion. Kanjorski’s saying that the week after CIA lied to Pelosi about torture, they showed him and others clearly false materials to persuade them to vote for Bush’s Iraq war.

I’ve noted before that Democrats seem to be saying the ties between the lies about torture and the lies about Iraq are one and the same. Is that what Kanjorski is saying?

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