Cheney Linked to Planned Covert CIA Program

The New York Times reports on a covert program planned by the CIA that Dick Cheney ordered be kept secret.

The Central Intelligence Agency withheld information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress for eight years on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney, the agency’s director, Leon E. Panetta, has told the Senate and House intelligence committees, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said Saturday.

....Mr. Panetta, who ended the program when he first learned of its existence from subordinates on June 23, briefed the two intelligence committees about it in separate closed sessions the next day.


The program apparently never went "fully operational."

Intelligence and Congressional officials have said the unidentified program did not involve the C.I.A. interrogation program and did not involve domestic intelligence activities. They have said the program was started by the counterterrorism center at the C.I.A. shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but never became fully operational, involving planning and some training that took place off and on from 2001 until this year.

Cheney's former advisor David Addington is back in the news too, with respect to the NSA wiretap program released yesterday:

A report released on Friday by the inspectors general of five agencies about the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program makes clear that Mr. Cheney’s legal adviser, David S. Addington, had to personally approve every government official who was told about the program. The report said “the exceptionally compartmented nature of the program” frustrated F.B.I. agents who were assigned to follow up on tips it turned up.

High-level N.S.A. officials who were responsible for ensuring that the surveillance program was legal, including the agency’s inspector general and general counsel, were not permitted by Mr. Cheney’s office to read the Justice Department opinion that found the eavesdropping legal, several officials said.

Jane Mayer had an excellent article in 2006 on Addington as the man behind Cheney. Laura Rozen at Washington Monthly has more today on Addington and Cheney. The Public Record brings John Yoo into the mix on the NSA warrantless wiretapping program. Yoo apparently doesn't think much of the Fourth Amendment.

< Newsweek: AG May Probe Bush Torture-Era Policies | Saturday Night Open Thread >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Watch the profanity please (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by shoephone on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 10:21:18 PM EST
    The site's filters, and all that.

    Oh well, we had our chance with oversight (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by shoephone on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 10:25:04 PM EST
    and accountabiltity. Democratic leadership couldn't handle the idea. Pelosi put the kibosh on impeachment during that well-known chat with Timmy on MTP. What a sterling moment that was.

    Thanks Nancy.

    We would not want our spies kept secret (2.00 / 0) (#3)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 07:23:47 PM EST
    might protect the country or something like that.

    Except (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 07:30:00 PM EST
    If they wind up being useful for GOP fodder. You seem to have a rather short memory...  Oh I forgot, those moveable goalposts of yours, if the GOP outs them then they never were spies, only low level CIA office workers, right?

    We would not want Congress informed (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by FreakyBeaky on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 07:32:01 PM EST
    Might protect the country or something like that.  

    Cough "conientelpro" cough (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by Socraticsilence on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 08:03:34 PM EST
    Church commission, Iran-Contra, etc. there's a reason that the CIA and other intelligence services are required to inform congress.

    You really should talk to Dick Cheney (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by inclusiveheart on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 08:17:42 PM EST
    about that.  Seems it was a hard concept for him to grasp.  "Plame Wilson"

    Who protects the country... (5.00 / 0) (#20)
    by kdog on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 09:37:45 AM EST
    from its spies?

    Not according to the former CIA chief (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 06:02:40 PM EST
    Now there's a trustworthy source (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Repack Rider on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 07:04:46 PM EST
    He's the guy who said that complying with the FISA law involved too much paperwork.

    Those paper trails are so inconvenient.


    all true (none / 0) (#8)
    by Dadler on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 08:08:51 PM EST
    i was just pointing it out.

    Maybe all of the Democrats in Congress (none / 0) (#9)
    by inclusiveheart on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 08:16:29 PM EST
    will not only agree not to prosecute Dick Cheney, but also all chip in and buy him a villa on some beautiful strip of beach in Brazil - just in case someone else does decide that prosecution is a good idea.

    The hits just keep on coming!

    I'd much rather (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Zorba on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 09:28:08 PM EST
    chip in money to buy Cheney a one-way ticket to the Hague, and let the International Criminal Court have a crack at him.

    I was talking about all of the elected (none / 0) (#19)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 08:03:13 AM EST
    Democrats who are bending over backwards to protect Cheney and the others from any and all jucial review of their actions.

    Does Bush deserve the title former President? (none / 0) (#11)
    by Mitch Guthman on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 09:25:43 PM EST
    Interesting.  "Cheney said this" "Cheney ordered that"  "Cheney demanded thus and so".  Everything had to be cleared by Cheney's staff, not Bush's people.  This will probably change the way history sees the Bush presidency.

    Previously widely believed to be the "worst president ever", George Bush will now also be known as the "weakest president ever".   If, of course, he was ever really the President at all----except in name.  

    What a pathetic, weak little boy.  Playing at being a cowboy, playing at being a Texan, playing at being President.  No wonder he had so much time for vacations and clearing brush.

    Of course... (5.00 / 0) (#21)
    by kdog on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 09:40:30 AM EST
    Cheney ran the show, I think that was obvious...Cheney has an unelectable face and demeanor, vice president was as much as the voters could stomach.

    G-Dub was little more than an electable face for the Cheney crime syndicate.


    Many of us knew all along that Cheney was calling (none / 0) (#13)
    by Angel on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 10:09:12 PM EST
    the shots.  It was apparent when he headed the VP vetting team and chose himself as VP what was going on and what was going to happen.  Daddy Bush sent Cheney to take care of his son and look what happened.  I just want to know what's new about any of this stuff? The fact that it's now being discussed as a reality in the media?  Cheney needs to be prosecuted at the Hague for war crimes.  Dubya too.

    Amen (none / 0) (#14)
    by Zorba on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 10:15:27 PM EST
    It was clear from the first that Bush was Cheney's puppet.  It's certainly no surprise to me.

    Did Cheney have the power to order the CIA (none / 0) (#22)
    by lilybart on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 10:18:27 AM EST
    to do anything?

    The VP has no such authority, am I right?

    Why did the CIA just do his bidding?

    We can never (none / 0) (#23)
    by JamesTX on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 12:13:57 PM EST
    hope to see any of these evil moneyed petro-giants punished for anything, so I think the best thing to do is to give them immunity for everything but perjury. I know they are going to get away with it. But I think we still need to know what happened and how, if we are going to maintain anything that resembles the Constitution as it was before they shredded it. Make it convenient for them to get up on their little evil hind legs and tell the story. Indulge their little delinquent fifth-grader smirks and let them laugh at us like a school kids who just hit us with a water balloon. Then let them sink their foul carcasses into their luxurious retirement wallows. Just make sure they understand, before they start, that it's prison if they lie, and luxury if they tell the truth. I know telling the truth is not in their nature, but if they know it is their only way to bliss they will do it. If we are going to keep this act together, that is what needs to happen.

    More of Bush and Cheney's Lies (none / 0) (#24)
    by dcfairbanks on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 12:19:15 PM EST
    There are many actions currently taking place in our nation that I simply cannot comprehend and infuriate me.  The one that is most glaring is the decision not to prosecute Bush and Cheney for war crimes.  The sheer number and magnitude of the crimes they committed are staggering and continue to be absolutely appalling as more of them are revealed.  

    On December 19, 1998, President Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives on the grounds of perjury and obstruction of justice related to sexual harassment and indiscretions.  He was the second president in US history to ever be impeached.  Clinton was acquitted by the Senate but still he had to pay a large fine, his Arkansas law license was suspended and ultimately, he was suspended from the United States Supreme Court bar.

    How can our government punish one president in this manner for sexual indiscretions and perjury but allow Bush, Cheney and the rest of their administration to evade accountability for so many horrific, illegal and immoral war crimes?  I am a supporter of President Obama but I cannot fathom the logic of the decision not to prosecute these criminals.  After the last eight years, I am still absolutely astonished by the hypocrisy and corruption that is so prevalent in our government.