CIA Director Leon Panetta today released a statement defending his agency from charges that it mislead mmeber of Congress:
There is a long tradition in Washington of making political hay out of our business. It predates my service with this great institution, and it will be around long after I’m gone. But the political debates about 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. As the Agency indicated previously in response to Congressional inquiries, our contemporaneous records from September 2002 indicate that CIA officers briefed truthfully on the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, describing “the enhanced techniques that had been employed.” Ultimately, it is up to Congress to evaluate all the evidence and reach its own conclusions about what happened.
My advice—indeed, my direction—to you is straightforward: ignore the noise and stay focused on your mission. We have too much work to do to be distracted from our job of protecting this country.
We are an Agency of high integrity, professionalism, and dedication. Our task is to tell it like it is—even if that’s not what people always want to hear. Keep it up. Our national security depends on it.
The bottom line here is this no longer a partisan issue… Republicans are calling her a liar and now, by implication, so is the White House. Speaker Pelosi has painted Democrats into a corner and she very well end up being sacrificed for the good of the party.
- Analysis: Democrats’ risky focus on torture – Examiner.com
- Panetta Defends CIA Briefing – Wall Street Journal
- Pelosi admits waterboard briefing – Washington Times
- Speaker’s Comments Raise Detainee Debate to New Level – Washington Post
- Pelosi’s Fancy Footwork – Dana Milbank
- Gingrich: Pelosi ‘Lied,’ ‘Despicable,’ ‘Dishonest,’ ‘Vicious,’ ‘Trivial’ – The Note, ABC News.
- The CIA Replies: It is Pelosi Who is Lying – NewMajority.com
- Video: Kit Bond says CIA doesn’t brief on rejected techniques – Hot Air