“Certain Officers”

Wow. This spat on the CIA lying to Congress is like a tennis game. First there was Silvestre Reyes’ letter to Crazy Pete reminding him that CIA had affirmatively lied to Congress. Then seven Congressmen and women released a letter saying that Panetta had recently told them that "top CIA officials have concealed significant actions from all Members of Congress."

Now Reyes has released a statement. (h/t Laura Rozen)

I appreciate Director Panetta’s recent efforts to bring issues to the Committee’s attention that, for some reason, had not been previously conveyed, and to make certain that the Committee is fully and currently briefed on all intelligence activities. I understand his direction to be that the Agency does not and will not lie to Congress, and he has set a high standard for truth in reporting to Congress.

I believe that CIA has, in the vast majority of matters, told the truth. But in rare instances, certain officers have not adhered to the high standards held, as a rule, by the CIA with respect to truthfulness in reporting. Both Director Panetta and I are determined to make sure this does not happen again.

The men and women of the CIA are honest, hard-working patriots, and they do not deserve the distraction to their mission that this current issue has caused.

So, to conclude:

  1. Panetta confirmed that someone was lying in the past.
  2. Reyes will give Panetta the benefit of the doubt going forward.
  3. The men and women in the CIA are patriots.
  4. Our President still wants to maintain this system of abusive secrecy. 

I’m particularly interested in Reyes’ mention of "certain officers." Would those officers happen to be named Jose Rodriguez and/or Porter Goss, I wonder? Both of whom would fit the description the 7 members of Congress used, "top CIA officials." And hell, while we’re at it, let’s throw George Tenet onto that list as well…

So if just "certain officers" have been lying to Congress, what are we going to do about it?

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  1. JimWhite says:

    So if just “certain officers” have been lying to Congress, what are we going to do about it?

    Oh, we must forever look forward. None of this “retribution” stuff.

  2. joanneleon says:

    In addition to knowing who lied and what we’re going to do about it, I think it’s important that we are told what they lied about and if it exonerates Speaker Pelosi.

    I’m seeing a lot of assumptions around the blogosphere about how this vindicates Pelosi, but we have no idea what they misled Congress about, or any other details about how they misled Congress.

    I’m also curious about this part of the letter from members of the Intel committee:

    “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.”

    [emphasis added]

    I assume that they are saying that until this week, the CIA hadn’t straightened out the record or that the CIA continued to mislead until “this week” but it would be good to have clarification of that statement. I just want to be sure that we aren’t talking about interrogation techniques possibly continuing to be used and not disclosed until “this week”.

    I also wonder why Reyes didn’t sign the letter from the other seven House Intel committee.

    • Leen says:

      “this week” Jeremy Scahill keeps saying they are still torturing

      Jeremy Scahill: “Little Known Military Thug Squad Still Brutalizing Prisoners at Gitmo Under Obama”
      Gitmo-web

      Jeremy Scahill reports the Obama administration is continuing to use a notorious military police unit at Guantanamo that regularly brutalizes unarmed prisoners, including gang-beating them, breaking their bones, gouging their eyes and dousing them with chemicals. This force, officially known as the Immediate Reaction Force, has been labeled the “Extreme Repression Force” by Guantanamo prisoners, and human rights lawyers call their actions illegal. [includes rush transcript]

      http://www.democracynow.org/20…..itary_thug

  3. emptywheel says:

    Pelosi doens’t need vindication, except among those who can’t read and believe there was a conflict between what Porter Goss said and Pelosi said, which there wasn’t–both make it clear that CIA did not tell them they were already using torture.

    But I’m not convinced this is about torture at all. Obviously, one of the problems they have is that Cheney was conducting covert ops under other names to avoid oversight.

    • joanneleon says:

      Well that’s a bit harsh, and it discounts the idea that a lot of people aren’t happy about the fact that she knew they had made legal justifications for the “enhanced interrogation techniques” and did nothing about it.

      • bmaz says:

        The unhappiness of people is understandable, I am one of them, but that is not particularly germane to whether Pelosi was innocent of the crap being pitched at her (she was).

        • joanneleon says:

          Good point and I realized that as I wrote it, but I guess I still feel that some of the accusations that were thrown at her were broader accusations that she knew about the torture program, and in my judgment, she did know about the program. The fact that she didn’t know about specific incidents of it being used may have technically cleared her of the accusation that she knew that certain detainees were tortured, but I didn’t feel that it vindicated her entirely of all accusations.

          But I don’t really want to belabor the issue here, especially if this whole thing isn’t even about torture issues. My hope was that this news of CIA misleading Congress would shed some more light on the situation and reflect positively on Pelosi and other leaders in Congress. For instance, when Reyes says that CIA officers “affirmatively lied,” I was hoping that might mean that CIA told Congress that they had not used some of the techniques, like waterboarding. That would, IMHO, clearly vindicate Pelosi and other members of Congress.

            • james says:

              One thing that should always be remembered is that Porter Goss was a field agent in CIA. He was involved in operations in Latin America that most likely involved some pretty nasty and, under US law, illegal stuff.

              The assertion that CIA was keeping him in the dark about what it was doing is not believable.

      • emptywheel says:

        Sorry.

        You’re right–it sounded harsh. I apologize for the flip way I said that.

        My point, though, is that no report that CIA lied to Congress CAN vindicate her. We are perfectly right to argue she should have done more (I’m skeptical it would have done a damn bit of good, and obviously couldn’t prevent the torture from beginning, but that doesn’t morally excuse her inaction).

        But the only way an admission that CIA lied to Congress could vindicate her would be if there were any legitimate doubt that what she has said consistently–that CIA didn’t tell them they had already started torturing–was correct. And so long as someone had at least read Goss’s own words–which don’t contradict that statement at all–then there should be no doubt.

        Admittedly, it might prove that the organized campaign against her was just a political stunt designed to misrepresent what she said and therefore to distract from CIA’s own failure to brief Congress. But that, too, should already be crystal clear.

        There are two separate issues. One is, was Pelosi telling the truth. Yes, she was, but that’s been clear from the moment Goss tried to claim otherwise. The other is, does that excuse Pelosi for not objecting more strenuously when she learned they were considering torture. It did not before and does not now.

        • esseff44 says:

          I still have a lot of questions about what Pelosi was told. Is she still bound by secrecy? Is she allowed to tell us what she was told in any degreee of detail? What could she have done to protest? What form would it have take? Is it possible she did and can’t talk about it?

          Would it have done any good at that time to protest? If it would not have made any difference, would she have been thinking about this situation years later and have done a CYA for posterity?

          Is the Committee doing anything to fix the part of the rules that tie the hands and seal the mouth of any of the Gang of Four or Eight or any number who they brief about these kinds of activities? At this point, couldn’t the same thing happen that happened with the torture briefings and they would still be stuck not being able to do anything about it?

          • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

            Is she still bound by secrecy? Is she allowed to tell us what she was told in any degreee of detail? What could she have done to protest? What form would it have take? Is it possible she did and can’t talk about it?

            Well, I’ve only been in much smaller, regional, less important situations so take what I offer with ten very large spoons of salt:

            It’s my view that Cheney and Bush and the neocons intentionally ’swore in’ — under the guise of national security briefings — some of the Dem leadership in order to ’silence’ them; in a sense, politically ‘capturing’ the Dem leadership into a legal position where they were unable to speak openly.

            Had Pelosi revealed classified info, she could have been prosecuted and sent to prison. (Scooter Libby, OTOH, had his ass covered for leaking classified info, which simply points out how dangerously loony tunes the situation must have been for Pelosi.)

            I view this differently than most others who comment here at EW, b/c I don’t think there was much Pelosi could do at that time. Tom Delay (’the Hammer’) was running the House. Cheney was suing to keep his Energy Task Force Secret, and Jack Abramoff was still on the rampage, meeting up with Rove and visiting the WH frequently. The GOP crony capitalists controlled the government (and we still don’t know who was controlling the GOP, but I digress…)

            Pelosi did the strategic thing: she insisted that the Dems stop handing the GOP their asses on silver platters in the name of ‘bipartisanship’ — and instead act as a cohesive opposition. Then she focused on electing more Dems to Congress. Fortunately, she had a lot of help, including Iraq Vets by 2006.

            • fatster says:

              She swore to uphold the Constitution. I realize the personal costs would have been greater than many could bear, but why wouldn’t she just blow the cover on the whole thing? Nathan Hale, we miss you.

              (No intention to be disagreeable or disputatious, etc. Just posing a rhetorical question. Peace.)

              • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

                I didn’t take it as disputatious, and on some levels it’s really a question of temperament and personal psychology, IMHO.

                She did swear to uphold the Constitution.
                But it appears that she found herself up against a criminal conspiracy, rather than up against a political party. If you think of the recent GOP as a criminal conspiracy operating behind the veneer of a political party, then what do you do?

                Do you simply sacrifice yourself and blab — and let them haul you off to prison, without actually achieving anything of long term value, while leaving the criminals even more powerful?

                Or do you suck it up, keep gathering info, cajole your weenie party members into finding some spine, and focus on the longer term, uphill battle of rebuilding a political majority so that you have the votes?

                Some will insist on speaking out.
                Okay; that’s not to be scoffed at. It needs to be done.

                But at some levels, there’s a ‘cutting off your nose to spite your face’ if it leaves power in the hands of really reckless, dangerous people.

                Different people do different things, depending on temperament and objectives. My view is that speaking out would not have resulted in the changes she needed; therefore, she had to find another option — one that required more long term planning and a hell of a lot more work.

                I mean, if you realize that the CIA is lying to you, that Bush is lying, that Cheney is lying, that the whole GOP is corrupt at the core, is ’speaking out’ really going to produce long term change?

                Now, the problem is that Obama can’t redux the same crappy, deceitful nonsense that BushCheney dished out. And the CIA looks somewhat like the Luv Guv: they may have passion in their hearts, but at this point who’s going to believe them even if they tell the truth? And is Obama’s redux of Bush’s rule going to rebuild trust or respect? Not likely.

                • fatster says:

                  I know, I know. Your points are very well taken and stated. I get overloaded with frustration too often these days and I appreciate your disabusing me of some of it.

            • esseff44 says:

              That’s pretty much how I see it. Cheney and company turned the oversight law on its head. She really had no one to protest to that would have made any difference. I think it fueled her determination to change the balance of power. Unfortunately, it has not been changed enough. Now, she needs enough to overturn a veto. It will take a super ultra majority to get the job done.

              • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

                But I also failed to mention the role of the press.
                By allowing themselves to be used as the tools of neocons, and letting themselves basically be the tools of political intrigue by players who, by leaking, sought to avoid all responsibility for their actions, they made Pelosi’s task much tougher.

                I found the willingness of the press to pass along the GOP memes about Pelosi’s so-called ‘unpatriotic’ remarks about the CIA this May to be a classic example of the reason that the press is still losing readership.

                As long as they let themselves be mouthpieces for intriguers, they contribute to corruption. That’s why, even if it’s Andrea Mitchell, I hope the press takes this up the flagpole and highlights what past CIA officials kept the Congress in the dark.

                • esseff44 says:

                  I completely agree about the role of the press. If they were performing their roles as real journalists, we would not be in the mess we are in.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      But I’m not convinced this is about torture at all. Obviously, one of the problems they have is that Cheney was conducting covert ops under other names to avoid oversight.

      Mrs Alan Greenspan Andrea Mitchell** was just on KO stating that whatever this is, it is *not* about torture. Which sure lends heft to the ‘…Cheney was conducting covert ops under other names to avoid oversight...’ speculation.

      I’m shocked — shocked!! — to learn that the CIA was keeping information from Congress during that period — including the years when the now-sentenced Dusty Foggo was CIA #3 under Porter Goss. (The same Dusty Foggo who helped his pal Mitchell Wade spring some very big contracts for computer services, including setting up the OVP’s office computers IIRC.)

      But doesn’t Reyes say something about ‘actions’?
      If so, my money’s on Cheney using some legalistic workaround to claim that the CIA and Pres didn’t need to notify Congress. And since Cheney had previously chaired the House Intell Committee, he would have been fully aware of what legalistic parsing could — in HIS mind — be used to claim that Congress did not need to be informed of CIA ‘actions’.

      Anyone besides me feel as if we’re kind of sitting atop a volcano that’s starting to rumble…?

      ** I realize Mitchell is disliked around these parts, but she was on KO and specifically made a point of saying this is not about torture, that it’s about something we don’t yet know about. The plot thickens…

      • Hmmm says:

        Starting to feel that way, yes. That “the economy is in much worse shape than we thought” line the other day did not feel right.

      • joanneleon says:

        I had forgotten about that statement by Mitchell, saying this wasn’t about torture.

        I wonder how Mitchell knows that? The letters don’t say anything about what CIA misled Congress about. Are there some other documents that I’ve missed that Mitchell may have seen? Or is Mitchell divulging information she may have gotten from insiders? I thought this stuff was highly classified.

      • freepatriot says:

        Anyone besides me feel as if we’re kind of sitting atop a volcano that’s starting to rumble…?

        nope

        as my previous comment hints to, I believe we are JUSTICE

        ot at least the wheels thereof

        did ya ever notice how finely Marcy can grind these arguments to dust ???

        and since it was mostly a pixie dust argument to begin with …

        well

        the outcome is impressive

      • maryo2 says:

        In fact, Andrea Mitchell’s exact words, which she quickly changed, were very close to this:

        KO: Do we know what the CIA lied about?
        AM: No, it is still covert…(err um) I… We, the media, do not know what it was about.

        It seemed that she suddenly wanted to define the word “covert” to mean “unknown” as opposed to “concealed.” I think it was an accidental slip of the tongue and she knows it is about reporting on a covert operation.

        • maryo2 says:

          The video is available at MSNBC KO. Here exact words at 5:37 are “It’s covert. I haven’t yet uncovered that.”

    • NCDem says:

      Since Obama was elected, I have argued that his greatest obstacle in moving forward would be the tension and debates with our CIA and its corporate masters. Hell, even beginning the solution to global warming will take a backseat to this issue.

      As a long time student of the early Kennedy years and the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs, I saw that Cheney was laying the groundwork for future problems. Several issues may arise. We may now be finding that we did have some involvement in Honduras afterall. We also may now be discovering that some of the financial chaos that Obama had hatched in his lap are a result of CIA activity. I’m hearing rumors coming from the Allen Stanford case that connects his early entry in his Guardian Bank in late 1985 to James Baker and the Baker Botts Law Firm in Houston. Now, what was James Baker doing in late 1985? Oh yes, he had just taken over Treasury for Reagan and was working financial tricks to avoid discovery of Iran-Contra. But, I’m also hearing that the seed money was drug money from Colombia.

      Cheney’s fingerprints were all over hiding Iran-Contra from Congress as a member of the investigating committee. Cheney is probably the the smartest man to ever operate in government in the last century on moving the levers of government in illegal ways that benefitted his clients.

  4. Leen says:

    “So if just “certain officers” have been lying to Congress, what are we going to do about it?” “move forward, turn the page, next chapter” please

    uh oh that “moving forward” song and dance. What happened to “accountability’ during the tennis game.

    Is Justice going to lose

      • fatster says:

        I suspect they tried a stern demeanor. I have no tee vee service, so if I’m wrong, please correct me. Hope you are home with wonderful memories of your trip to Caleeforneeya (which is being destroyed by Ahhhhhhnold & the Repugs in a way that Cayce never guessed).

  5. AZ Matt says:

    Panetta is not a happy camper having to admit his organization lied to the bosses. And I don’t really think that trust will be restored anytime soon.

    • Hmmm says:

      Wasn’t on his watch, though, and it’s a great cover in case he now does want to do any actual cleaning-out of Cheneyite stay-behinds.

    • Peterr says:

      Part of Panetta’s problem is that his Boss is Dennis Blair, and his Boss’ Boss is Obama. His orders from them are simple: “You do what we want, when we want it, and as we direct you to do it.”

      Congress, on the other hand, decides (in theory) whether to provide the funds for his work or not.

      Pleasing the bosses and keeping the money coming is getting a whole lot tougher. Obama doesn’t want Congress to exert any more oversight of his DNI and CIA than it did over Bush’s, but at least some in Congress do not seem willing to let that happen without at least a protest if not an all out fight.

      (Why they didn’t do this under Bush is another question. Grrr . . .)

      Bosses can fire you, but without patrons to pay the bills, you’re stuck.

  6. HitEscape says:

    This seems like an excellent opportunity to weed out some “loyal Bushies”. If nothing else, Panetta better use it before they come back to bite him in the ass at a later date.

  7. JThomason says:

    Watching my Facebook traffic and the “CIA Misleading Congress” story is garnering wide attention.

  8. MadDog says:

    And now from the NYT:

    …In an interview, Mr. Holt declined to reveal the nature of the C.I.A.’s alleged deceptions,. But he said, “We wouldn’t be doing this over a trivial matter…”

    • joanneleon says:

      Marcy, please see my comment at 37. I’m not sure how credible the source is but worth considering.

      • emptywheel says:

        Saw it. There is some space between Mitchell’s “not torture” and Sam’s “interrogation” (and I understand others are getting the “interrogation” line as well).

        That might be:

        1) Approval for torture, which would bring it back to 2001
        2) Rendition, something we know (per Mary McCarthy) they lied about in the past
        3) Use of drugs–related, but different, than torture
        4) Torture

    • NCDem says:

      “This is similar to other deceptions of which we are aware from other recent periods,” said the letter, made public late Wednesday by Representative Rush D. Holt, Democrat of New Jersey, one of the signers.

      From Scott Shane’s article in NYT. This may be one reason Obama got out front on the Honduras problem and argue for Zeleya to return to office. As a leftist oriented President, Cheney’s part “B” of the CIA would have problem with any non-binding referendum on Constitutional change.

    • valletta says:

      It’s late in the thread but Jan Shakowsly was just on MSNBC and said it was a program “they knew NOTHING about” prior to the latest briefing.

  9. Peterr says:

    This is about something the “other members” have learned about only now, and it’s something that they should have learned about a long time ago. The letter notes that the misleading went on “for a number of years from 2001 to this week.”

    My sense is that the torture stuff is old news to the members of the committee, and indeed to much of the House. I’m guessing this is something else of a dubious nature — warrantless wiretaps, domestic surveillance activities, etc. — that they had been assured for years was not taking place and now they discover otherwise.

  10. MadDog says:

    …Would those officers happen to be named Jose Rodriguez and/or Porter Goss, I wonder?…

    I would like to nominate Mikey Hayden for inclusion on the list too.

    One of the primary reasons Bush/Cheney gave him the job of CIA Director was the neverending dissembling he did while head of the NSA regarding warrantless wiretapping.

  11. MadDog says:

    Spencer has some info on the Repugs reaction to this kerfluffle:

    House Intel GOPers React To Dem Letter On Panetta

    I just got reaction from Jamal Ware, spokesman for the Republicans on the House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee…

    Basically, the Repugs don’t deny the admission of Panetta about the CIA’s lies, and instead they’re back on the “Pelosi called the CIA liars!” trip.

    Shorter Repugs: “Irony? What’s that?”

  12. alabama says:

    Something’s coming down, and if we don’t know what it is, it’s not for lack of trying…

    But what if it doesn’t come down after all?

    If the thing doesn’t come down, someone will leak it until, in effect, it already came down (which sounds a little strange to me, and not only in English).

    Because nothing is punctual, not for anyone, not even Obama. No one has any overview, because way too many players have been at play for way too much time. Those who remember Watergate will know what I mean: Nixon was always in the dark, trying to catch up. And of course the catching up just made everything darker for him.

    That’s why this blog is important. It nails one little thing at a time, all the time, and the other guys have to catch up. And when Holder finds that his time is being completely taken up with the antics of the last administration, he’ll be strongly tempted to tell, and tell it fast. Attorneys General are important, after all, and the last administration ought to be over and done with.

  13. orionATL says:

    why would andrea mitchell be assumed to have any credibility in this issue?

    greenspan was and remains, first and foremost, a republican political operative, just like scalia and john roberts.

    might his wife think differently? of course.

    nonetheless, why, at this point, would anyone ponder or discuss her magical story?

    how about she is just using her position to confuse the issues?

    how about she is just drawing attention to herself to get more invites?

    sleezeball, careerist journalism – you never know what turns it may take.

    but ponder on if that’s your thing.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      why would andrea mitchell be assumed to have any credibility in this issue?
      greenspan was and remains, first and foremost, a republican political operative, just like scalia john roberts.
      might his wife think differently? of course.
      nonetheless, why, at this point, would anyone ponder or discuss her magical story?

      I sympathize with your frustrations, and I share them. OTOH, she was a guest on KO’s program. As far as I’m aware, she didn’t stoop to Judy-Judy-Judy’s level of being a pain in the ass and embedding herself with a US troop in Baghdad.

      I may not be a big Mitchell fan, but I do believe:
      1. She has one hell of a work ethic, and I respect that in anyone.
      2. She is competitive, so she wants to get the story first.
      3. She’s not a Greenspan clone; heavens, my spouse and I disagree on all kinds of things! And I think Greenspan is a symptom of our times — such a brainiac, and surrounded by so many synchophants, that he never had to examine his own assumptions. And he didn’t take up painting, or sculpture, or other more creative pursuits that would have helped him think more creatively.

      If Mitchell has the drive and motive to move this forward, then my attitude is: God bless and more power to her! It’s not like she wallows in the vapid idiocy of Faux. Whatever you say, she’s not a ditz and she does have a ton of drive.

      (Like those of us here at EWs way too late in the day…?)

      • joanneleon says:

        Sam Stein at Huffington Post is claiming to have a source who confirms this is about “interrogation policy.”

        The letter does not explain what those “significant actions” were. But a source with knowledge of the dispute says it concerns Bush administration interrogation policies. Panetta briefed the Intelligence Committee about these and other matters two days before the letter was written, as well as other dates.
        Link

        • esseff44 says:

          Here’s more from the Sam Stein at HuffPo post:

          Nevertheless, the late-evening stories provide a boost to earlier claims from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that she was drastically misled by the CIA when it was briefing members about the Bush administration’s enhanced interrogation techniques. They also threaten to rip open the debate on whether Congress should revamp the process of how it is briefed on covert intelligence. The Obama White House on Wednesday said it would veto any legislative effort to change the current structure of the briefings, which limits the session to only the “Gang of Eight” lawmakers. Pelosi and her allies want to give the Intelligence Committee the authority to determine who is briefed on the critical intelligence.

          Is is possible to override a veto on this? Would the Repugs side with Obama? Against Pelosi?

    • esseff44 says:

      I was wondering the same thing? How does she know what it’s not about? It sorta reminds me of her claims about the Plame affair that she had to backtrack on. IIRC, she claimed that it was common knowledge among reporters that Plame was CIA.

    • jdpriestly says:

      Andrea Mitchell is completely unreliable, but then she may have reliable sources. Greenspan is a fallen man. He sold his honor and intellectual integrity for the position at the FED and the accolades of Republicans. I hope he was handsomely paid for his sins. Surely, he knew what he was doing to the economy.

  14. MsAnnaNOLA says:

    If I recall correctly lying to congress is a crime. People should be fired or jailed for committing crimes.

    • greenharper says:

      Yes, lying to Congress, AKA making a “materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation,” is a 5-year federal felony. Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 1001. So is making such statement to any other federal agency as to any matter within its jurisdiction.

    • DLoerke says:

      If everyone who lied before Congress would be put in jail, no one would be testifying before Congress. Congress lies…the witnesses lie back.

  15. bobschacht says:

    As has been pointed out before, the whole business about the Executive being obliged to inform Congress about what it is doing has become extremely problematic. This issue has been brought sharply into focus by eight years of an administration in which one of the most important players (Cheney) did NOT want to inform Congress about what it was doing. I sense a Constitutional crisis about this. Sure, there are laws against the CIA “lying” to Congress, but that word is being parsed now to mean that its not lying unless there was intent, etc. etc., so Congress can “misinform” Congress, as long as its not intentional??? The Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves, methinks.

    I’m looking for an issue whereby Congress will re-discover its backbone, and on something other than Blue Dogs watering down Democratic proposals until they’re palatable to Republicans, which is actually a version of spinelessness.

    Bob in HI

  16. Hmmm says:

    On reflection after an hour over dinner, I’m guessing this is going to turn out to be about the deaths during interrogation. They could get away with claiming that that’s different from the torture issues.

  17. MadDog says:

    Some more interesting Reyes commentary from a Fox News interview via a Faux News Congress Blog:

    …The House is poised to debate an intelligence authorization bill on Thursday. In an interview with FOX, Reyes says he was concerned that Republicans might try to corner Pelosi on the interrogation flap.

    “We all know there have been a number of contentious issues that have been much publicized,” said Reyes, who indicated he wrote the letter in an attempt to curb GOP efforts to target Pelosi.

    “Let’s leave for the moment the politics out of it,” Reyes said. “Our national security is about the most serious thing we deal with here on Capitol Hill. And it shouldn’t be politicized.”

    The House Republican leadership is signaling that it intends to make Pelosi and her allegations that the CIA misled her a key part of the intelligence legislation debate.

    But Reyes conceded that his letter to quash GOP darts aimed at the speaker might be for naught.

    “Obviously I can’t control what my colleagues on the other side of the aisle might do. But that’s their choice,” said Reyes. “If they want to do that, I’ll deal with that. But I certainly hope that’s not what the plan is.”

    This is also detailed in this Fox News report on the interview.

  18. MadDog says:

    And CQ Politics, which helped kick off this whole thing today, has just put up an updated article:

    Panetta Admits CIA Misled Congress on “Significant Actions”

    …Republicans said it was true, as Reyes wrote in his letter, that the classified subject about which the committee was notified was a subject of bipartisan concern. But they did not endorse Reyes’ conclusions that the CIA had lied.

    Hoekstra said, “Was it something where I thought there should be more follow-up? Yeah. But to go put me in a blanket statement based on one briefing?”

    He said Democrats wanted to help validate Pelosi’s prior claims by establishing other occasions in which the CIA may have misled Congress. Republicans had seized on those remarks, and Hoekstra said Democrats were trying to “make the men and women of the intelligence community public enemy No. 1.”

    Reyes expressed surprise at the Republicans’ remarks about whether the controversy was legitimate and whether Democrats were trying to protect their leader, saying simply, “They know better…”

    …Ruppersberger added that a proposed committee investigation that Reyes mentioned in his letter is still in the “developmental” stages, but “I think it probably will not find that anyone intentionally lied.”

    Hoekstra doubted an investigation would go anywhere, citing a long-overdue report on a probe into the CIA’s destruction of videotapes of early Bush administration interrogations of suspected terrorists.

  19. freepatriot says:

    we know one thing

    when they say “certain officers” lied to congress, they ain’t talking about the janitor

    now it’s just a process of elimination

    which “certain officers” of the CIA testified before congress

    let’s get a list, and start asking leon about specific NAMES

    remember folks, grind slowly, and exceedingly fine …

  20. bobschacht says:

    Hey, folks, Facebook needs confirmation that the eminent Marcy Wheeler is, indeed, the author of the EmptyWheel blog. They won’t take my word for it; they want 9 more confirmations.

    If you’re on Facebook, name this as one of the blogs you follow. Spread the word.

    Bob in HI

  21. bobschacht says:

    Ahem…
    The Marcy Wheeler Pixie Dust Brigade, with a Common Interest in Politics, has been established on Facebook. It is for fans and supporters of journalist and author Marcy Wheeler, a.k.a. “Emptywheel”. Membership requirement is the donation of at least $15 to the Marcy Wheeler Support Fund, which you can find up top on the right hand sidebar. Why $15? Because that’s how much a Pixie Dust Lunch Tote costs from Disney– Purchasing your very own lunch tote is optional. However, it is about the right size for a netbook, its power supply cord, and a few accessories, like a sandwich, or whatever keeps you going.

    I guess that kinda sorta means that it will serve as a Fan Club of sorts for our Esteemed Leader.

    Bob in HI

  22. Basharov says:

    This “the CIA doesn’t lie to Congress” controversy is the silliest one yet. The CIA — from top to bottom — has been lying to Congress since it was founded in 1947. The surprise is when the scoundrels tell the truth.

    For details, read Tim Weiner’s wonderful History of the CIA: Legacy of Ashes. Lying is what they do.

  23. STTPinOhio says:

    The CIA lies to Congress… shocking!

    I just can’t read, and re-read a whole lot of words that simply come to the above conclusion.

    The issue is a simple one; what is Congress gonna do about it?

    Either demand accountability and (wait for it…) truth from the CIA, or STFU and keep being lied to.

    Why is it when your child doesn’t tell the truth it’s a lie, but when someone in Washington doesn’t tell the truth it’s a whole paragraph of big words and possible misunderstandings?

    • eCAHNomics says:

      Here’s what Obama’s gonna do about it: veto any attempt of Congress to prevent being lied to. Obama likes the lies jest fine.

      • perris says:

        Here’s what Obama’s gonna do about it: veto any attempt of Congress to prevent being lied to. Obama likes the lies counts on the lies jest fine.

        got that fixed for ya

  24. Blub says:

    I don’t understand why MSNBC and the other nets seem to think that the statement “it is not the policy or the practice of the CIA” to lie to Congress cannot be parsed into a truthful statement. The CIA is an organization, in WDCspeak.. the actions of a rogue agent or a whole bunch of rogue agents or even a whole agency of rogue agents would not, in the minds of these sociopaths, necessarily constitute organizational will. This same argument is used all the time in justifying malfeasance by Federal personnel. The Federal agencies don’t do wrong, don’t break the law.. only individual employees do, even if that employee is the head of the agency. Similarly, while it may not be the policy or practice of CIA to lie to Congress, if the president orders them to lie, then that probably still falls outside of the parse (not their practice, but it is that of the WH and they’re beholden to the WH and the CIC). None of this holds water, legally or otherwise of course, but it is typical behavior from these people.

    • james says:

      Richard Helms basically laid out the agency’s attitude toward lying when he was committing perjury during the Church hearings. He said CIA officers would not be required to tell the truth most likely because duplicity is a way of life for that agency and its people with very few exceptions.

      And [email protected], if you really really believe that Obama is going to do anything to undo all the egregious crimes of the previous administration instead of further advancing the corporatist agenda, I want to see your face when he eviscerates Social Security because that was the main reason Wall Street supported this man.

      You don’t regain your place in the world by refusing to prosecute blatant war crimes, crimes under both international law and your own statutes. You retain the crown of hypocrisy which this country has worn so well for so long.

  25. BlueCrow says:

    “As with any other aspect of life, one of the worst things a body can do is to allow this system to weaken by miscategorizing a falsehood as a truth. The consequence will be that the system fails at the crucial moment one needs it most, causing one to lose one’s way.” — Robert B. Laughlin in *A Different Universe*

    The system Laughlin is referring to is the reliable set of notions by which one navigates through life. I think it fair to say our recent and current Federal officials have so weakened our system that we have lost our way. I’m guessing it’s one of the unintended consequences of the endemic corruption as well as intellectual and moral dishonesty that dominates our public life today, rather than by design.

  26. klynn says:

    Way off course here, but could any of this be related to information about known spy rings in our own country being covered up?

  27. rapt says:

    To follow your line just a bit further Blub, the lower-downs in the agency take the heat, get censured or fired or jailed, while the guys giving the orders stay in place. Abu Graib

  28. Mary says:

    Because I’m a cynic, I’m going to toss out the possiblity that what Panetta has told them about involves something that is likely to come out in the future in a sideways fashion and the CIA is only now fessing up bc they are concerned that it will come out anyway. So I’m thinking something that involves one of the cases on the burners – Siddiqui, Arar, el-Masri, Binyam Mohamed, Padilla. That’s only spec, but that would be my area of spec. The UK, Spain, Germany, Italy, etc. are all primed on lawsuits and while those may come to nothing much, things may leak out with them. Plus the UK parliament (probably seeing a chance to forever bury Blair, but still) is pushing on a lot of fronts and that is probably more likely to result in some pieces coming out. Pakistan’s Chief Judge has been pushing on info involving those who were originally disappeared by the Paks for the Americans and for the transfer of Siddiqui back to Pakistan for that matter.

    I think the only reason Panetta would be further fleshing out to Congress or fessing up to soemthing to Congress from times that preceded him would be if there was a chance that it was either going to come out anyway or was going to have to be addressed in private sessions as a reason for other activities that are going to have to be taken as a result of the old info.

    I’m thinking not JSOC bc it wouldn’t really be the CIA’s responsibility to brief Congress on Cheney’s military assassination squad if that exists/exised. That would be the miltiary’s responsbility and it is something CIA SHOULD do if they know about it, but it’s not their bailiwick and responsiblity.

  29. wagonjak says:

    “So if just “certain officers” have been lying to Congress, what are we going to do about it?…”

    Short answer…NOTHING… “we” don’t have the power to do anything about it, and Congress doesn’t have the guts to do it…

  30. mamayaga says:

    Ever since Obama and Holder started their egregious tap dancing about accountability and transparency while doing all they can to keep Bush crimes covered up, I have suspected that when they came into office they discovered that those crimes were even worse — way worse – than what we already knew about or surmised, and realized that if it all came out it would cause an international firestorm that would completely preempt all other business for months. It’s not as if new revelations that our government carried out torture and spied on us will make more than a marginal impact — particularly given how blase the media is about these things. It must be something new (Cheney ordered Bhutto’s assassination, perhaps?) or much more outrageous than what’s already known (we still haven’t heard about the child rapes Hersh hinted at), and yes, I think it’s bubbling to the surface. Obama just wants to get health care reform passed before it explodes.

  31. robspierre says:

    A real Congress would cut off all funding for the CIA effective immediately. It would then repeal the enabling legislation that create dthe CIA and set about breaking up the Agency and distributing viable parts to other federal entities, such as the State Department and the individual armed services.

    Nothing less will do if we are going to force this renegade state-within-the-state to act within the laws and in accordance with the will of the people.