CIA’s Panetta swings back

May 15, 2009

CIA Director Leon Panetta is no stranger to Washington political drama, and he showed on Friday that he wasn’t going to watch from the sidelines while Congress threw stones at his spy agency.

No names were used, but Panetta left no doubt he was responding to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s USA/charge that the CIA misled Congress about interrogation tactics such as waterboarding that were used on terrorism suspects after the Sept. 11 attacks.

In a publicly released note to CIA employees headlined “Turning Down the Volume,”   Panetta said the political debate on interrogation “reached a new decibel level yesterday when the CIA was accused of misleading Congress.”

“Let me be clear: It is not our policy or practice to mislead Congress. That is against our laws and our values,” said Panetta, a former congressman and President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff.

He had some blunt advice for employees of an agency that has come under increased public scrutiny since the Sept. 11 attacks over Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that were never found and for its handling of terrorism suspects: “Ignore the noise and stay focused on your mission.”

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Photo credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst (Panetta at swearing-in ceremony at CIA headquarters Feb. 19)


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Further investigation of this matter wont happen. The dems cried for years about EIT’s. Yet all of the high ranking ones knew about it, and continued funding for it. Once the public found out they changed their story. Its hypocrisy at its finest. The fact of the matter is EIT’s kept this country safe. It is proven by one simple question: how many times have we been attacked since 9-11?

Posted by lc | Report as abusive

The words and actions of Pelosi show the democrats gave their approval and didn’t say a word until now. I hope she continues to yap, because with each word she utters, she digs a hole that will prove harder to fill. Obama opened a can of worms that I bet he wishes he would not have opened.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

I am just waiting to see Jerry Springer jump out with a microphone antagonizing Panetta to take fist to cuffs. Pushing blame around only lengthens the processes, and helps scatter focus of the root of the problem. It seems that every excuse to abandon common sense falls on 9-11. The facts of 9-11 have done nothing but point to inside covert operation done by professionals with the posture of past questionable terrorist bombings. Then UN and British solders riding around shooting up the suburbs of Iraq wearing turbans and obviously portraying terrorist makes you think how much of this is real. We need to uncover the truth and look at the action reaction of events, and not be dissuaded by the Hollywood antics of Congress and the White House. The felonious torture and kidnapping of Iraqi citizens was inhumane on all levels and the purge from the top brass to the agents involved should be eminent. The dismantling of the anti-constitutional “Patriot Act” must be first priority to protect the Citizens involved in the uncovering of the truth. Otherwise, they will find themselves blacklisted as potential terrorist and then kidnapped just like Ashton Lundeby!

Posted by JJ Malone | Report as abusive

Can anyone tell me just how someone like Nancy Pelosi ever became Speaker of the House? She is an embarrassment.

Posted by Joe Abernathy | Report as abusive

Can you say red herring? Ultimately, it makes no difference if Pelosi et al knew. She cannot be more guilty than those who initially approved of and carried out the illegal actions. For those seeking a reprieve via muddling responsibility, good try. Maybe contractors should be hired to prosecute so that the job will be done without important people getting their hands dirty.

Posted by Daryl Bowks | Report as abusive

The right wing’s sideshow on Nancy Pelosi only furthers the case for a full investigation into torture. Whatever it is Nancy Pelosi knew about, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, David Addington, John Yoo, Jay Bybee, they knew more. And ultimately, when we have a thorough investigation of what happened, the bulk of the blame has to lie with the architects of the policy, not with a member of the opposition party.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

Hey reader! Penetta has no intelligence background. He was Bill Clinton’s Chief of Staff. What else does a Chief of Staff do besides cover for the president. Now Hillary is Secretary of State. These folks are not after truth. They share the dream of a progressive government. Just like their lacking leader. They wish only to minimize any criticism against this administration. It is critcism and truth that is their enemy. Pelosi will not discuss this issue any more. Penetta will not discuss this issue any more. The main stream media will not discuss this issue any more. Rush Limbaugh and Fox will. Who and what are you loyal to and why?

Posted by picomanning | Report as abusive

Poetic justice! The self-righteous queen of morality and defender of America’s enemies gets caught in her own little web of phoney outrage. The law of unintended consequences even applies to San Francisco and Chicago politicians.

Posted by parabellum | Report as abusive

With so much power vested in the Presidency Picomanning, you got it wrong. This is not a progressive government. It is run by banking Oligarchs(Federal Reserve Board) and a despot. Rush and Fox news only lament is that their party is out of power. Guantanamo Tribunals, Patriot Act Authorities, torture and banking policies are all a continuation of Bush policies. We have very few true Conservatives and Liberals in government today. We have been overrun by Fascists.

Posted by Anubis | Report as abusive