This story is breaking on MSNBC and was being discussed by Keith Olbermann with Andrea Mitchell and others on tonight's Countdown. Rachel Maddow is now leading with this story on her show, for those of you who are able to watch.
Breaking news today is that 6 members of Congress wrote a letter to CIA Director Leon Panetta regarding the accuracy (or lack thereof) of briefings received by members of Congress.
On June 26, six Democrats on the committee — Anna Eshoo (Calif.), John Tierney (Mass.), Rush Holt (N.J.), Mike Thompson (Calif.), Alcee Hastings (Fla.) and Jan Schakowsky (Ill.) — wrote to Panetta, "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 — which doesn’t explain what those "significant actions" concerned — asks that Panetta "publicly correct" his May 15 statement that it isn’t CIA "policy or practice to mislead Congress." TWI acquired a copy of the letter, which comes after CQ reported that committee chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas) also nebulously stated that CIA "affirmatively lied" to the committee.
Here is the text of the letter:
I'm having trouble embedding video from MSNBC, so I'll add the link. From tonight's Countdown with Keith Olbermann:
And The Rachel Maddow Show:
UPDATE: H/T to dharmafarmer for an additional link to a WSJ article
Central Intelligence Agency Director Leon E. Panetta has told lawmakers that CIA officials misled Congress "for a number of years" since 2001, according to a letter released Wednesday from six Democratic lawmakers.
The lawmakers say the CIA also withheld information about unspecified "significant actions."
The letter didn't identify when Mr. Panetta made the statements or to what they referred.
Let's recall House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's press conference where she made this allegation and how it was received.
Insert knee-jerk reactions here:
"Accusing the C.I.A. of criminal activity might make Nancy Pelosi popular with her San Francisco constituents, but it also makes her a liability in swing districts across the country," Ken Spain, a spokesman for the House Republican campaign organization, said.
Sean sides with the CIA against the "San Francisco Speaker". Bad move. Warning!!!: This clip features Ann Coulter
And, of course, the leader of the Republican Party:
UPDATE 2: It has been opined in the comments below that this report does not exonerate Nancy Pelosi, and I wanted to address that.
There seemed to have been two basic issues surrounding Pelosi's accounts of her CIA briefings. First, were the briefings accurate? Second, did Pelosi know about waterboarding and, if so, when? I'll address the first issue because I believe the second to be irrelevant (what could she have done as a member of the minority party during the Bush administration?).
It is difficult to understate the media hysteria that surrounded this whole issue in May of this year. Speaker Pelosi was raked across the coals as an unpatriotic liar who dared question the integrity of the Central Intelligence Agency, never mind its uh checkered past. So, to this reader, any admission that the CIA was, in fact, not briefing members of Congress truthfully absolutely bolsters Pelosi's case, and that of the other members who expressed doubts about the accuracy of the briefing documents that were released. My apologies for the run-on sentence.