Remember that whole Nancy Pelosi, the CIA lied to Congress brouhaha? Turns out Leon Panetta’s an idiot… Joseph Finder at the Daily Beast has the details:
CIA Director Leon Panetta’s emergency testimony to Congress about an illegal assassination program has set off a crisis at the spy agency. The Daily Beast’s Joseph Finder exclusively reports that:
- The secret assassination ‘program’ wasn’t much more than a PowerPoint presentation, a task force and a collection of schemes—it never got off the ground
- Panetta’s three immediate predecessors—George Tenet, Porter Goss, and Michael Hayden—have spoken to him, and that he now sees that no laws were broken.
- Panetta has frantically tried to rectify his gaffe, but now faces increased Congressional oversight.
CIA Director Leon Panetta stunned Washington earlier this summer by disclosing, in an emergency closed-door briefing to Congress, that for the last eight years, the agency he now runs illegally concealed a secret terrorist-assassination program. The reaction was predictably explosive. The House intelligence-oversight committee launched a major investigation. Here was official confirmation, from the very top, that the CIA in the Bush years had been flagrantly and systematically violating the National Security Act of 1947.
But according to a half-dozen sources, including several very senior, recently retired CIA officials, clandestine-service officers, and Cabinet-level officials from the Bush administration, the real story is at once more innocent—Panetta was mistaken; no law was broken—and far more troubling: an inexperienced CIA director, unfamiliar with how his vast, complicated agency works, unable to trust senior officials within his own agency, and desperate to keep his hands clean, screwed up.
The only question is whether Panetta is an idiot who is unqualified to lead the CIA or a political hack who fabricated a secret, illegal spy program to cover Speaker Pelosi’s backside.
H/T: Gabriel Malor at AoSHQ.
- Panetta Revealed – Commentary