Endgame of the CIA-Congress squabble unclear

The squabble between Congress and the CIA continues:

Earlier today, House Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas) wrote in a letter to the committee’s ranking Republican, Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) that he had obtained information that there were serious problems with the CIA’s briefing of lawmakers and that the CIA “affirmatively lied to” lawmakers.

“These notifications have led me to conclude this committee has been misled, has not been provided full and complete notifications, and (in at least one occasion) was affirmatively lied to,” Reyes wrote in his letter.

Sounds similar to a subplot of the John le Carré novel Smiley’s People, in which the higher powers of the British government seek to neuter the intelligence services.  They succeed.  However, intel services being what they are, there are still plenty of moves available under the guise of state secrets, bureaucracy, or normal mistakes.  I suspect the CIA spat will play out similarly.

Alas, we’ll never know.  The “information” will most likely be available for evaluation decades after the event.  What plays out in public is allegations that don’t have to be backed up, and rebuttals that are equally unencumbered by the burden of proof.  One wonders whether the discussion needs to be public at all.


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