Intel Panel: CIA Misled Lawmakers On Torture, Other Issues

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The CIA misled Congress about its torture program and other issues, Democrats on the House Intelligence committee are asserting as the committee continues to probe the matter.

In a hearing of the House Intelligence committee this afternoon, Reps. Anna Eshoo and Jan Schakowsky, both Democrats, pointed to at least five instances going back to at least 2001 in which the C.I.A. withheld information from or lied to Congress.Schakowsky said that an ongoing committee probe had found that the CIA is afflicted by a “large disease” of misleading and even lying to lawmakers about intelligence activities.

Earlier this year, Speaker Nancy Pelosi charged that the agency had lied to her about its enhanced interrogation techniques program, during a September 2002 briefing — provoking outrage from Republicans. But that episode was among the examples that Schakowsky and Eshoo pointed to today.

• Another concerned the top secret program to assassinate al Qaeda operatives which CIA director Leon Panetta first told Congress about in June.

• A third concerned the CIA’s 2005 destruction of videotapes showing the interrogation of al Qaeda operatives.

• And a fourth, already known, related to the shooting down of a plane carrying missionaries over Peru in 2001, information about which was concealed form Congress.

In response, a CIA spokesman did not specifically challenge the committee’s findings, telling The Hill:

It is the policy of the Central Intelligence Agency to be clear and candid with the United States Congress. Director Panetta has made a relationship of trust, confidence, and respect a top priority.

Late Update: This post originally incorrectly reported that the intelligence committee’s probe was complete and had issued findings. In fact, the probe is ongoing and today’s allegations were made by some Democrats on the committee.