Congress Kept in Dark, CIA Chief Admits

Hayden backtracks after 'stunning' closed-door committee testimony
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2007 5:41 PM CST
CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007, following a closed-door meeting with the House Intelligence Committee on the issue of destroyed...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden acknowledged today that the agency did not inform Congress about the creation or destruction of videotapes of harsh interrogations of al-Qaeda detainees, the New York Times reports. “We could have done an awful lot better at keeping the committee alert and informed,” Hayden said after a three-hour, closed-door meeting with the House Intelligence Committee.

Hayden distanced himself from comments in a memo sent to CIA staff last week in which he said congressional leaders had been informed on the matter—and from the tapes’ creation and destruction, which happened under previous agency leaders. The committee’s chairman called Hayden’s new testimony “stunning” and said it was likely an early step in a coming “long-term investigation.”