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National Briefing / Washington, D.c.

CIA did mislead, Democrats say

July 09, 2009|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Six Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee said that CIA Director Leon E. Panetta told lawmakers that the agency had misled Congress since 2001 about "significant actions."

In a letter to Panetta, the six legislators said he had "recently" testified that "top CIA officials have concealed significant actions from all members of Congress" and "misled members" from 2001 until this week.

The letter, released by the lawmakers, didn't describe what actions were at issue.

The agency went to the panel with the new information, CIA spokesman George Little said in a statement.

The disclosures may reignite a debate between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) and Republicans over her allegation this year that the CIA had misled her, and Congress, in 2002 about harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists -- including whether waterboarding was being used.

The letter from the Democrats called on Panetta to "publicly correct" his May 15 statement that "it is not our policy or practice to mislead Congress."

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