Friday, May 15, 2009

CIA Director Panetta denounces Speaker Pelosi's claims

The "he say, she say", drama continues....

CIA Director Leon Panetta today rejected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's charge that the agency misled her in 2002 about its use of waterboarding and other coercive interrogation methods on suspected terrorists.

Panetta, who took office as President Obama's CIA chief in February, reasserted the agency's claim that it told congressional leaders about the use of such methods during a closed-door briefing in September 2002. Pelosi (D-Calif.) has acknowledged attending the briefing but says she was told only that the CIA was considering the use of waterboarding, or simulated drowning.

"It is not our policy or practice to mislead Congress," Panetta said in a message released today to agency employees. A copy was obtained by The Washington Post.

"Our contemporaneous records from September 2002 indicate that CIA officers briefed truthfully on the interrogation of [suspected terrorist] Abu Zubaida, describing the 'enhanced techniques that had been employed,' " Panetta said.

A two-year dispute over what Congress was told about the CIA's interrogations reignited yesterday when Pelosi accused the agency and Bush administration of deceiving lawmakers about the interrogation practices. read more here....

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