Yes, I’m glad that Arlen "the Scrapple formerly known as Haggis" Specter has come out in support of Nancy Pelosi’s suggestion that CIA misled her in her September 2002 briefing.
"The CIA has a very bad record when it comes to — I was about to say ‘candid’; that’s too mild — to honesty," Specter, a former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a lunch address to the American Law Institute. He cited misleading information about the agency’s involvement in mining harbors in Nicaragua and the Iran-Contra affair."Director [Leon] Panetta says the agency does not make it a habit to misinform Congress. I believe that is true. It is not the policy of the Central Intelligence Agency to misinform Congress," Specter said. "But that doesn’t mean that they’re all giving out the information."
Because of leaks that have come from Congress, Specter said, he understands the agency’s hesitancy to disclose all its information.
"The current controversy involving Speaker Pelosi and the CIA is very unfortunate, in my opinion, because it politicizes the issue and it takes away attention from … how does the Congress get accurate information from the CIA?" Specter said. "For political gain, people are making headlines."
But one thing should be mentioned about Specter’s comments. Note that Scrapple, unlike John Boehner and Crazy Pete Hoekstra and John McCain, doesn’t claim to know WTF Pelosi was briefed.
Rather, his statement is general (a sentiment Specter probably formed when he was on SSCI): Specter’s noting that CIA is less than forthcoming with Congress, and that that needs to change. (He’s also correctly suggesting that those making headlines are doing so for political spin.)
The distinction is important. This whole debate has largely been drummed up by people who have no fucking clue how CIA briefed Congress in 2002. It’d be nice if that kind of rank ignorance wasn’t making the headlines anymore.