CIA misled, lied to Congress several times since 2001, say lawmakers

Jan Schakowsky

Jan Schakowsky

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The two Democrats chairing the US House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence have accused the CIA of misleading Congress on at least five instances during the last eight years. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Representatives Jan Schakowsky (CA, photo) and Anna Eshoo (IL.) said an investigation by the Committee had uncovered several examples “where the committee actually has been lied to” by the CIA. The two chairwomen described the investigation findings as “symptom[s] of a larger disease” involving the routine practice of “incomplete and often misleading intelligence briefings”. However, commenting on Schakowsky and Eshoo’s allegations, Robert Litt, the senior attorney in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees the conduct of all 16 US intelligence agencies, said Congress was not adequately briefed on “a small number of intelligence activities”, but “has since been brought up to date”. Read more of this post

Senator says Obama employs Bush tactics on spy secrecy

Russ Feingold

Russ Feingold

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A Democratic senator has alleged that the Obama Administration is copying the Bush Administration’s tactics by “stonewalling and road blocking” Congress on intelligence issues. Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), the only Senator to vote against the USA PATRIOT Act during its first vote, said during a nomination hearing on Tuesday that he suspects the White House is still withholding information from Congressional intelligence panel members. Feingold voiced the allegation during the nomination hearing in Congress of David Gompert, incoming deputy director of national intelligence, who will serve under director of national intelligence Dennis C. Blair. In recent months, Senator Feingold has emerged as one of the most vocal Democratic critics of the Obama administration’s policies on intelligence and security. Read more of this post

US House Intelligence Committee says routinely misled by CIA

Reyes

Reyes

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
On June 23, intelNews reported on the endorsement by key lawmakers in Washington of a proposed bill that would force US intelligence agencies to make full disclosure of covert spy programs to all members of Congress’ intelligence oversight panels. Yesterday, US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), came out once again in support of the proposed legislation, saying that he has evidence that the Committee he chairs has been routinely “misled […] and […] affirmatively lied to” by the CIA. Reyes’ allegations were included in a letter to the committee’s Republican members, in which he urged them to support the proposed bill. According to the National Security Act of 1947, Congressional intelligence committees must be “fully and currently” informed about the activities of US intelligence agencies. In recent years, however, military and intelligence officials routinely make use of a classification label called Operational Preparation of the Environment (OPE), which allows them to shield certain activities from Congressional oversight. Read more of this post