Washington – General Michael V. Hayden, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, testified on Capitol Hill today that the CIA “inadvertently destroyed two senators” who were at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia to hold a meeting with him. The two Senators were Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, and Kit Bond, Republican of Missouri, both members of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. They were scheduled to meet with Hayden and other CIA officials regarding budgetary issues.
Around 10:00 AM this morning, Hayden informed members of Congress that “an incident” had occurred at CIA headquarters, and that Harkin and Bond had been accidentally destroyed. He was immediately summoned to Capitol Hill to testify before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs as to what exactly occurred. Hayden and the CIA are already the subject of multiple investigations regarding the destruction of several hundred hours of videotape, allegedly showing controversial interrogation techniques being used on detainees in the CIA’s custody. Hayden told the committee members that the incident involving the two senators was purely accidental.
“It is indeed unfortunate that these two Senators were destroyed,” Hayden said, reading from a prepared statement. “I want this committee and the American people to know that the destruction was not the result of any improper action being undertaken by anyone at the CIA related to destroying any type of evidence. For instance, it was not something related to a giant incinerator, which someone wanting to destroy videotapes or other documentation might use to reduce those items to ash or fine particles. It was nothing of this sort. It was nothing, I might add, along the lines of a technician manning this hypothetical incinerator eating a sandwich and getting a piece of cheese lodged in the control panel, causing a technical malfunction that resulted in the senators being sucked into the incinerator. This is not, I assure you, what happened in this case.”
Hayden then thanked the committee and sat back in his chair, having apparently completed his statement. A stunned group of senators stared in disbelief at one another. Mark Pryor, Democrat of Arkansas, immediately began the direct questioning, asking, “General, you just told us what didn’t happen. What did happen, sir?”
Hayden responded, “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand your question. What did you say?”
“I asked you what happened, General. And I have to say, it sounded to me from that statement like those things you said didn’t happen, actually did happen. Is that true?”
“I’ll tell you, it’s like you’re speaking another language,” Hayden said. “Now what was that again?”
“What happened, General?”
“‘Ah bee-bu booboh-bleek.’ That’s all I’m getting. I’m sorry.”