Would the CIA Lie to Congress? Of Course!

Monday, May 25, 2009

If the matter of Nancy Pelosi vs. the CIA was a court case, and the Central Intelligence Agency has to testify on its own behalf, it would have a serious credibility issue, stemming from its history of lying to Congress. The current House Speaker has insisted that CIA officials mislead her earlier this decade over its use of torture against detainees, and there are plenty of examples of the agency having deceived other members of Congress over the last 40 years.

In the 1970s CIA Director Richard Helms deceived the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the agency’s role in the overthrow of Chile’s president, Salvador Allende, and in 1977 Helms pleaded guilty to perjury.
Also in the 1970s, the CIA lied to U.S. Senator Dick Clark, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, about the agency’s illegal collaborations with the government of South Africa against Angola and Mozambique.
During the Reagan administration, CIA Director William Casey and his deputy, Robert Gates (currently the secretary of defense), lied to Congress about efforts to support the Contras rebel group and overthrow the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.
In the late 1980s, the CIA failed to tell Congress about Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi government diverting U.S. farm credits to purchase nuclear technology and sophisticated weapons. And in this decade, CIA Director George Tenet and his deputy, John McLaughlin, consistently lied when they claimed that Iraq was helping al-Qaeda train its members in the use of chemical and biological weapons.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
The CIA's History of Bamboozling The Congress (by Melvin Goodman, Public Record)
The CIA Lie to Congress? It's Happened Before (by Adam Serwer, American Prospect)
Definitive Account of Briefings Still Elusive (by Paul Kane and Joby Warrick, Washington Post)


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