Someone at the CIA lied and Congress is not happy

July 9, 2009

Someone lied about something at the CIA, that much is clear.

Members of the House Intelligence Committee are not happy about it, that is also clear.

But the actual offense and who committed it was apparently discussed behind closed doors and cannot be revealed publicly which has led to a cryptic dance in statements from members of Congress and the CIA.

It’s worth mentioning that the CIA actually makes a living telling lies overseas to secure secrets for U.S. national security purposes. But the spy agency prides itself on telling truth to power at home.

So let’s see if we can wind our way through what is known so far to see where the pieces fit in the puzzle of shadows.

Six Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee sent CIA Director Leon Panetta a letter dated June 26 that said “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. This is similar to other deceptions of which we are aware from other recent periods.”

A very tantalizing statement. The letter then asks that Panetta publicly correct his statement of May 15 that it is not CIA’s policy or practice to mislead Congress.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes, a Democrat, issued a statement very late Wednesday night (10:04 p.m. on the BlackBerry) that said he appreciated Panetta’s recent efforts to bring issues to the committee’s attention that “had not previously been conveyed.”

But hold on… Reyes goes on to say that while the CIA has told the truth in the “vast majority of matters,” there were “rare instances” in which “certain officers have not adhered to the high standards held, as a rule, by the CIA with respect to truthfulness in reporting.”

Doesn’t require a whole lot of interpretation: Someone lied

The CIA responded by saying Panetta stands by his May 15 statement that it is not the policy of the spy agency to mislead Congress.

CIA spokesman George Little said Panetta’s actions backed up his words since “it was the CIA itself that took the initiative to notify the oversight committees.” (Still no word on what the offense was, or who committed it).

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee were not going to be left out of this one and issued a statement even later at night. They charge that the Democrats are whacking the CIA to protect their leader, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who became embroiled in controversy over when she knew that waterboarding was being used on terrorism suspects.

The Republicans say the “blatantly political nature” of the letters from the Democrats is revealed by the fact that “one was slipped under a staffer’s office door late at night, the other was deliberately hidden from Republican members for two weeks and had to be obtained from the press.”

So that’s what we know. What we don’t know is who lied about what.

Any ideas please send them in.


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It could be about that suitcase full of $350 billion or so of US bonds, which was recently seized from a pair of “Japanese businessmen” in Italy…
Other options that spring to mind include information or lack thereof on WMDs from the middle-eastern states (Iraq? Iran? Afghanistan? Israel? Who knows anymore?) And/or records of US sales of such to these states.
It could be the concept that North Korea needed to be removed from the terrorism watchlist in order that they could then purchase materials for their own nuclear and biological weapons programmes from the US….

I’d say the only thing we can definitely say was not a CIA lie to Congress would be their statement “President Bush has no intelligence.” The assertion that ex-VP Cheney is not a Dalek, however, is highly questionable.

Posted by Luis Real | Report as abusive

at one time a statement like this about questionable practices by the cia would have had total acceptance by the american public with out any hesitation.but we have consistently seen the incompetence of this congress be revealed so much over the last two years that the cia are perceived to be far more trust worthy in comparison.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

We know as a matter of historical record that the CIA has been discovered in lies to Congress before and further has refused to answer questions from the intelligence committee that overseas their operations. For that reason alone it is not hard to believe they have lied again.

The real question is do they have the legal authority to tell lies to Congress? I suspect they have been given that authority and exercised it even with the intelligence committee. Their only obligation to honesty I understand is to members of the House and Senate Intelligence committees. They should never be allowed to refuse to answer honestly questions from the intelligence committees which have security clearance.

Personally I think the entire CIA has been wrong so often it should be abolished and replaced by a spy agency that uncovers theft of patent rights and trade secrets that contribute to our economic decline.

Posted by Walter L Johnson | Report as abusive

Hey remember a couple of weeks ago when Republican leadership was so outraged that Pelosi said the CIA had lied to Congress? I’m not a huge Pelosi fan, she’s a politician just like the rest, but anyone who knows a little history knows that there is a long list of times that the CIA has lied to or misled the Congress.

Posted by Eric H | Report as abusive

We could tell you who lied, but how would you know we weren’t lying?

Posted by just kidding | Report as abusive

Congress lies constantly about the earmarks they use to pad the pockets of their supporters and defraud the taxpayers, so lets have some honesty from them, also.

Posted by R A Alfrey | Report as abusive

It is the return of “Deep Throat”!

Posted by Rick | Report as abusive

did the cia go to the same political school like the rest of washington??

Posted by cb | Report as abusive

Maybe it is a real embarrassment. Remember all the times that anti torture legislation failed in congress, both houses, during the Bush administration? In many more of these occasions than influential Democratic members of these congresses would like to have remembered by voters of today, failures of anti torture initiatives were enabled by active collaboration of supposed Democratic Party members with the hideous torturers from the GOP. Usually those turncoat Democrats used alleged ‘CIA studies’ as a figleaf to cover there collective and frequent treason against the American people and the American way of life. Now those ‘Democrats’ chickens have come home to roost. Much pork barrel legislation was also passed in those same times with the beneficiaries being many of the districts of those same ‘democratic’ politicians. Now we cannot say that those pols, those ‘nice’ democratic pols, would ‘quid pro quo’ pork barrel legislation in ‘under the table smoke filled room politikin’ in exchange for their votes on numerous bills whose results in the real world would be the torture and murder of people, even American native born citizens, at the hands of hideously evil foreign drug warlords who happen to ‘support us’ at the moment. We cannot say that those same ‘democratic’ politicos, those ‘nice democratic church goin politicos, would use those supposed ‘CIA studies’ as a public cover for their connivance in evil against the very fabric of this nation? Would we.

Posted by An American Democrat | Report as abusive

lies – what lies ? only misunderstood facts are released–all other info. is withheld for Security Reasons——thats how it works. duh? just look @ Bushs parting shot @ The Truth about Being Wrong About Iraq, ” So What “——-need anymore be said.

Posted by njgisler | Report as abusive


Posted by ExOp | Report as abusive

The lies, deceit and manipulated intelligence, that took us awayu from the hunt for Bin Laden and al-Qaeda and mired us down in a country with no ties to 9/11. At a cost of over 4500 dead American military. And up to 2 trillion borrowed American Taxpayer dollars that went into the offshore accounts of the Neo Con Parasites practicing their Colonialism.
Look up the word Colonialism and think about it. The European and American governments has invaded and occupied weaker countries, at the behest of their Neo Con owned corporations and conglomerates, to rob and plunder their natural resources and lands for colonization. Along with the enslavement, rape, slaughter and genocide of the Indigenous inhabitants. Theft and Murder! Would you say the murder of 3,000 American Citizens on 9/11 was the end result of centuries of Colonialism?
The Neo Cons, along with their imbedded stealth operatives in the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches of our government, including the Conflict of Interest and Collusion challenged Congress, Will never admit their policies of Colonialism is Theft and Murder and leads to Terrorism. Because to do so, they’ll have to admit they’re guilty of Theft and Murder and that their policies of Colonialism is ultimately responsible for the terrorist attacks on the U.S.
Treason is Treason. When will we hold the ones guilty of Treason responsible?

Posted by CurtJ | Report as abusive

If it was a democrat that lied that will be ok.

Democrats are allowed to lie and spend us into a third world country.

Look at Obama’s firing of the Inspector General just because he was doing his job and Obamas supporter lied about use of funds.

So if Nancy Pelosi lied it won’t matter because she’s a democrat and democrats are never accountable for anything.

Posted by Suzete | Report as abusive

Everyday it is a little more like watching 4 years old that have run amuck. It is time to give them their bottle a send them to bed…

Posted by Todd | Report as abusive

“…and misled members for a number of years from 2001 to this week.”

Well, what happened in 2001?

Posted by PM | Report as abusive

So let me get this straight the congress who lies to the public face all the time only to say sorry they got caught in whatever wrong doing they did and ask forgiveness is upset that the CIA didn’t tell them the whole truth? Should the CIA even begin to tell the congress anything or even should report to them. God knows the congress or the executive branch will spill the info if it suits them politically. I’m not saying that CIA are not saints, nor should they.

Posted by mike | Report as abusive

Ms. Palosi is culpable over 90% if what has gone on over the past dozen years. Just like Mr. and Mrs. Clinton, all of this has been going on for some time. Ms. Palosi is senile if she thinks she can simply hide her part via blank-faced likes about shadowy CIA agents who supposedly were so, so capable of telling lies that all of the best liars money can buy couldn’t see through to the truth. You know what it is simply left-wing politics… someone on the left is challenging her for not “being pure enough” and she’s running scared… with MORE lies. Politicians cannot be trusted. Give them one term and then send them to court to defend themselves for their crimes. Consider all the promises Obama has broken already! You cannot trust big government; demand dispersal of power and local control; use competition to weed out the liars.

Posted by Karl Quick | Report as abusive

It would not be too surprising if the “spotlight” of the internet revealed sufficient antics of administration and congressional persons to cause a wave of revulsion directed at these arrogant and overpaid persons.

Posted by Buddy | Report as abusive

So, if the CIA lied or mislead at any time in the last 8 years, if means Pelosi was correct in saying she didn’t know about waterboarding? Riiiiight.

Posted by Imrighter | Report as abusive

All of this covert lying, by all parties, should make some great material for about 50, new, Robert Ludlum, spy novels. With his imagination, I certainly hope the Republican party has his membership and support. The Democrats,particularly Nancy Pelosi, wouldn’t have a chance.
Jim B Smith
Hsv, Ala

Posted by James B Smith | Report as abusive

Seeing as how carelessly Pelosi “forgot” key intelligence briefing information, is it any surprise that the CIA would hold back on sharing some information with Congress?

Posted by Gordon | Report as abusive

What? The CIA lied…? How could that have happened? Give me a break. I don’t expect anything else from them or congress. I say we fire the whole bunch of them and start over and that includes the White House and the senate. There is no accountability anywhere. We need to stop the blind trust in these people. Just because someone has enough money to get elected to office doesn’t mean they are qualified for that office. Because someone has charisma or they are a media darling of the puppeteers that are pulling the media strings does not mean they are qualified for office. Stop acting like a bunch of sheep and wake up. You can always tell when someone in the media or the government is lying – their lips are moving.

Posted by Jesse Pait | Report as abusive

When are we finally going to accept the fact that our nation was formed by God-fearing men who believed and lived by God’s Word, and as such, they strived to act and serve their country with a conscience that was submitted to God and His Word. America and our constitution is based on Biblical principles that has slowly been eroded and thrown out the window by leaders and politicians who refuse to be reminded by their CONSCIENCE that what they are doing is WRONG. We Americans have been too complacent about who we place in power and it is time to choose:..are you for God or against Him…there is no middle ground. The Bible says in REV. 3:15-16 “because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”

Posted by Sue | Report as abusive

I believe the web of deceit spun over the last 8 years is finally beginning to unravel amongst the upper echelons. Hopefully faith will be restored and our nation’s image will begin to heal.

Posted by Natheya | Report as abusive

Someone in Washington lied?
Some of you seem surprised and others can’t wait to point a finger at someone you do not agree with. The truth is the American people must like to be lied to because we keep electing and re-electing people that lie. Then once elected they demand misinformation from their hired or appointed officials as well.
What we need is less fighting among ourselves and more demand for honestly and prudent behavior from our elected officials in Washington. They lie because they think we expect or want them to lie.

Posted by Craig Coal | Report as abusive

Sorry, but i believe the CIA more than i believe any politician in congress…especially the current line-up…

Posted by JF | Report as abusive

The past administration manipulated intelligence from all agencies for eight years. Many revelations to come. Cheney may want to move to Dubai sooner than planned.

Posted by Dave Bovia | Report as abusive

HAHAHA, Suprise Suprise.

Posted by Stephen | Report as abusive

So they lied in 2001? What happened back in 2001? 9/11, right? So is it possible that the lies coming from the CIA revolve around the events on 9/11, and who was really responsible?

Is that why the public can’t know? Because everything that’s happened in the last 8 years (wars, etc.) will have been a total waste of taxpayer dollars?

I have a feeling that this is never going to be released because the public will call for the CIA to be disbanded.

Posted by The past 8 years have all been a lie | Report as abusive

It is amusing to say the least to read the comments of people who think that information was manipulated only in the last administration.
Are they that young or uneducated ?
Or dishonest ?
Or are they just stupid ?

Posted by tankfixer | Report as abusive

Hey! Don’t believe every thing you read people! Do you think Hillary always tells the truth or Bill? Ha!

Posted by Thane | Report as abusive

It amazes me how we just “go along” with the power brokers in Washington. From the top office in the country to an insignificant office manager. The arrogance and indifference they project is sufficating our country, economy and the ideals America was founded upon. We must at some point stand up and be heard. It is our responsibility to vote out these offenders. That is the only way we can be certain “WE WILL BE HEARD”!!

Posted by Joel K | Report as abusive

If someone the the CIA lied to Congress, then it is Congress’ responsibility to identify that individual(s) and take the appropriate actions whether it be internal to the CIA or criminal. Both parties in Congress are responsible for pushing this to the final conclusion. While it does not need to be made public it does need to be completed.

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

Perhaps the committee needs to change it’s name
the the Almost Intelligent House Committee.
The first liar doesn’t have a chance

Posted by maureen | Report as abusive

Let’s see… much fuss about a program, not fully implemented, that didn’t actually do anything, whose existence was withheld from an oversight committee that all too often leaked information to the media. Why am I not upset?

Posted by Douglas | Report as abusive

As more news continue to trickle out about the CIA’s deception of the U.S. Congress, it was just reported by BBC that former U.S. Vice President had ordered the CIA not to tell Congress about about its torture programs, etc..

This information just confirmed the widespread view among experts that George Bush was actually a marionette of Cheney, who was the actual decision maker at the White House – on behalf of the president. All CIA activities must be approved by the President with Executive Orders, and those orders are on file to protect CIA personnel – if a legal matter about the legality of the CIA activities surface. But the revelation now that Mr. Cheney was giving direct orders
to the CIA, and those orders were followed by the CIA
without the official authorization of an Executive Order from from the President, is the smoking gun which proves
that Mr. Cheney was running the illegal CIA operations during the Bush tenure as president.

Could George Bush have signed an Executive Order directing the CIA to lie to the U.S. Congress? Of course
not. And that brings us to the “Two-Way Street” that the CIA does business: a) Do what is legal, or borderline legal with an Executive Order, and b) Do what is illegal under an “Oral Order” from the Vice President. The “Oral Order” is not traceable; it can be denied if it surfaces in the headlines, and above all provides “denialbility” for the president for illegal activities carried by the Administration under his command.

The democrats were a minority during the George Bush tenure, and they were just dismissed as constitutional partners by Bush and Cheney. But now they have majority in both houses, and with that comes the power to appoint a Special Prosecutor to dig out their deliberate exclusion by Bush and Cheney on matters of national policy. And I hope they will have the guts to do it. Nikos Retsos, retired professor

Posted by Nikos Retsos | Report as abusive

nicos,the BBC is a broadcasting organization that is financed by a licence that each person in UK pay.they have gone very much like the new york times where they sometimes report the news as they would like it to be,to suit their political agenda.unfotunately unlike the new york times who are their own masters the BBC are not and recently they have been pulled over the coals because of their leftist bias.this is very sad because in england certain institutions were above politics,for instance the judiciary are totally impartial perhaps because they are not nominated by if you agree with the new york times,then this report from the BBC will be accepted by you whether it true or not.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive