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jeudi, juillet 09, 2009

House Democrats: Spy Chief Says CIA Misled Congress for Years

09 July 2009

CIA Director Leon Panetta (file photo)
Leon Panetta (file photo)
A group of Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives says the director of the CIA has testified that officials with the spy agency misled members of Congress from 2001 until last month.

Seven Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee say CIA Director Leon Panetta recently testified that he determined that top CIA officials concealed "significant actions" from all members of Congress, and misled members from 2001 until June.

The lawmakers did not provide any details on what the agency allegedly misled Congress about.

Earlier this year, House speaker Nancy Pelosi sparked sharp debate after alleging the CIA misled her about the use of waterboarding on suspected terrorists during a 2002 briefing. Panetta rejected her claim.

Waterboarding - used in interrogations during the Bush administration - simulates drowning. President Barack Obama has described the technique as torture. Bush administration officials said harsh interrogation methods on top terror suspects yielded valuable information.

The seven Democrats made their allegations in a letter to Panetta, calling on him to correct a statement he made in May that it is not the CIA's policy or practice to mislead Congress.

Meanwhile, Mr. Obama is threatening to veto the Intelligence Authorization Bill if it includes a provision requiring the president to notify entire Congressional intelligence committees about covert activities.

Currently, the president is only required to share such information with eight lawmakers - the top Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate, and the top Democratic and Republican members of the House and Senate intelligence committees.