July 10, 2009
Amid accusations that the CIA has repeatedly lied to Congress since 2001, President Barack Obama is threatening to veto legislation that would force the White House to disclose to Congress internal documents pertaining to covert operations. The bill also contains language giving Congress the power currently enjoyed by the president to determine what information is too sensitive to share with all members of the intelligence committees in both the Senate and House. Currently, the White House has to disclose information only to the so-called “Gang of Eight,” consisting of the party leader and intelligence committee leaders from each party .
President Obama’s reluctance to be more forthcoming with Congress over secret military operations came only days after House members said CIA Director Leon Panetta admitted during a closed-door meeting with the House Intelligence Committee that CIA officials had “concealed significant actions from all members of Congress” since 2001. In a letter to Panetta, several representatives asked him to correct his declaration made in mid May that it was not the policy or practice of the CIA to mislead Congress.