Cheney to CIA: Don’t Tell Congress

July 12, 2009

(ChattahBox)—A source confirmed to CNN that former Vice President Dick Cheney, directly ordered the C.I.A. to withhold information from Congress about a secret counterterrorism program devised days after the attacks of 9/11.

The knowledgeable source confirmed that C.I.A. director, Leon Panetta, not only briefed the Senate and House Intelligence committees about the existence of the secret program, but also that Cheney was behind efforts to keep it hidden from Congress.

The New York Times first reported on Saturday, citing an unnamed source, that Cheney was responsible for keeping Congress in the dark, when the counterterrorism program was created eight years ago. An unnamed Intelligence official told the Washington Post on Saturday night that it was “generally known” from the very beginning of the secret program that Cheney ordered it be kept from Congress.

These same Intelligence officials confirm that the unidentified program did not involve the enhanced interrogation program or domestic intelligence activities.

So, the big question is what exactly did the secret counterterrorism program involve and why did the Cheney and the C.I.A. place such importance on it?

Intelligence and Congressional officials are, so far, remaining mum on the details of the project. But, what is known is that on June 23, Panetta first learned of the secret program formed within the C.I.A.’s counterterrorism unit from subordinates. Panetta then immediately shut down the program and briefed Congressional committees about the program the next day.

These new revelations involving Cheney, point to a larger problem during the Bush administration of engaging in illegal activities that it purposely kept from Congress, in the wake of the hysteria surrounding 9/11. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi was vilified by Republicans, with Newt Gingrich even calling for her impeachment, when she charged the C.I.A with not informing her about the use of waterboarding on a terrorism suspect.

Whatever was specifically revealed to Speaker Pelosi at that disputed briefing in 2002, according to the NY Times, “in any case, the briefing occurred only after a terrorism suspect, Abu Zubaydah, had been waterboarded 83 times.”

Cheney’s obsession with secrecy is legendary and permeated all levels of the Bush administration. On Friday, the inspectors general of five agencies released a scathing report on the widespread and out of control National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program, which was subject to Cheney’s fanatical secrecy.

These new revelations of the C.I.A.’s withholding information arrive as lawmakers seek to amend the 1947 Intelligence Authorization Bill, to ensure that Congress is fully informed of future Intelligence activities.

Lawmakers want to expand Intelligence briefings beyond the heads of house Intelligence oversight committees, the so-called Gang of eight. The White House is concerned some amendments go to far, raising “significant executive privilege concerns.” Congress and the White House are now negotiating on the parameters of the changes to the 1947 law.

Meanwhile, the battle lines between Republicans and Democrats are beginning to take shape. Democratic lawmakers are outraged and plan to call for an investigation into the C.I.A.’s secret program, using its subpoena powers to compel testimony from intelligence officials involved in the secrecy.

“This wasn’t an oversight. There was an order given to not inform Congress,” said Democratic Rep. from Illinois, Jan Schakowsky.

Republicans claim the Democrats are using the issue to support Speaker Pelosi’s claims that she wasn’t informed of the use of waterboarding.

Republican lawmakers also contend that, since the secret counterterrorism program was only in the early planning stages and never got off the ground, the C.I.A. wasn’t required to notify Congress.

The 1947 law also carved out a Congressional reporting exception, which states, “to the extent consistent with due regard for the protection from unauthorized disclosure of classified information relating to sensitive intelligence sources and methods or other exceptionally sensitive matters.”

Despite Dick and Liz Cheney’s bombardment of the airwaves in recent weeks in support of the Bush administration’s use of torture, they both now have nothing to say and are unavailable for comment, regarding Dick Cheney’s involvement in keeping the counterterrorism program secret from lawmakers.


Comments

4 Responses to “Cheney to CIA: Don’t Tell Congress”

  1. Cheney to CIA: Don’t Tell Congress on July 12th, 2009 11:28 am

    […] but also that Cheney was behind efforts to keep it hidden from Congress. The New York Times click for more var _wh = ((document.location.protocol==’https:’) ? “https://sec1.woopra.com” : […]

  2. Old Man Dotes on July 12th, 2009 1:01 pm

    Why is anyone surprised that Dick Cheney, neo-Nazi and closet White Supremecist leader opf the GOP and the hand up G.W. Bush’s puppet backside for 8 years, wanted to keep his illegal activities a secret? Isn’t that what pathological dictator wannabe lunatics do?

  3. Was Secret CIA Program Dick Cheney’s Executive Assassination Squad? | ChattahBox News Blog on July 13th, 2009 10:00 am

    […] new revelations of the C.I.A. concealing operations from Congress arrive as lawmakers seek to amend the 1947 Intelligence Authorization Bill, to ensure that Congress is fully informed of future […]

  4. GunnerBob on July 15th, 2009 11:20 pm

    I just wish that I had the opportunity to appear before the entire Congress of the United States. No visitors in the gallery, no congressional aides, nobody else but Congress men and women. I would tell them that I am going to tell them a piece of classified information that if leaked, will change the course of the world. The example I am going to use is: The moon is made of green cheese!

    I guarantee you that within 48 hours after my disclosure, the word would have been spread by some of our honorable congress people and the whole world would have this information. That is why the folks that deal in the deep recesses of the intelligence community cannot trust that congress can keep their mouth shut and that there are things the American people do not need to know let alone the rest of the world.

    I spent twenty years of my life in the military defending the wonderful freedoms we have in this great country and by golly, I want to continue to have those freedoms. It won’t happen if we blab every single intel item to congress and basically to the entire world.

    Let VP Cheney alone! As far as I am concerned, he is a loyal American and he did what he thought was the right thing for America.

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