Friday, July 10, 2009

CIA chief admitted lying to Congress

Updated on : Friday, July 10, 2009

WASHINGTON: The US Central Intelligence Agency has admitted "concealing significant actions" from Congress for years during the Bush administration, prompting the chairman of the House of Representatives intelligence committee to accuse the agency of having "affirmatively lied".

Members of Congress say the CIA director, Leon Panetta, made the admission at a closed session last month.

The CIA admission came to light after seven Democratic members of the House intelligence committee wrote to Panetta demanding he correct a statement in May in which he denied Pelosi’s assertions, saying that it is not the agency’s "policy or practice to mislead Congress".

"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," the letter said. "This is similar to other deceptions of which we are aware from other recent periods."

However Republicans on the intelligence committee challenged the Democrats characterization of the extent of Panetta’s admission.

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