House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has worked up her base and her colleagues in Congress with demands that the CIA "correct" the record and 'fess up to a long history of lying to Congress.
Kara Rowland, Capitol Hill correspondant for the Washington Times reports that the dormat clash sparked up again yesterday, and now CIA Chief Leon Panetta - a loyal Clinton Democrat - is caught in the cross-fire.
"....The politically explosive clash between the CIA and congressional Democrats flared anew Thursday as CIA chief Leon Panetta rejected fresh charges that the spy agency had systematically lied to lawmakers about key administration policies in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Seven Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee in a letter made public Wednesday evening said that Mr. Panetta recently conceded privately that CIA briefers misled lawmakers and demanded he "correct" earlier statements denying information had been concealed from Congress.
The letter built on previous allegations from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that CIA officials had lied to her in 2002 about harsh interrogation methods being used under the George W. Bush administration, allegations Mr. Panetta also forcefully denied.
"Director Panetta stands by his May 15 statement," CIA spokesman George Little said. "This agency and this director believe it is vital to keep the Congress fully and currently informed. Director Panetta's actions back that up."
An intelligence official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the letter mischaracterized Mr. Panetta's testimony to the committee in a closed-door June 24 session."
As I said earlier today on "America's Morning News" this is a blunder for Speaker Pelosi and a strategic error that is only going to hurt the Democrats.
Democrats have renewed the lying charges because Republicans were successful in nicking Pelosi's credibility on national security issues by impugning the CIA and it's men and women who serve. It's the kind of allegation that plays well to San Francisco Democrats but the rest of the country? Not so much.
The end result.... a circular firing squad for the Democrats.
That's the position in which Republicans usually find themselves.