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Cheney Kept Cia Program From Congress, Source Says

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Nice. :angry:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The CIA withheld information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress during the Bush administration on direct orders from then-Vice President Dick Cheney, current CIA director Leon Panetta told members of Congress, a knowledgeable source confirmed to CNN.

The disclosure to the House and Senate intelligence committees about Cheney's involvement by Panetta was first reported in the New York Times. Efforts to contact Cheney for reaction were unsuccessful late Saturday.

The source who spoke to CNN did not want to be identified by name because the matter is classified, and CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano declined comment on the report.

"It's not agency practice to discuss what may or may not have been said in a classified briefing," Gimigliano said. "When a CIA unit brought this matter to Director Panetta's attention, it was with the recommendation that it be shared with Congress. That was also his view, and he took swift, decisive action to put it into effect."

CNN

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The source who spoke to CNN did not want to be identified by name because the matter is classified, and CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano declined comment on the report.

"It's not agency practice to discuss what may or may not have been said in a classified briefing," Gimigliano said.

He did not want to be identified by name because he was committing treason? There's a surprise.

Why is this even news? Congress has NEVER been fully informed. That would kind of defeat the purpose of the CIA (and all the other acronyms).

I'm not sure I trust Congress anyway.

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I agree with the "Why is this even news".

I long since concluded that anything that the Bush Cheney administration said was either a deception or outright pack of lies. They were never truthful with The American People and did not act in the best interest of The People , The Constitution, or The Country.

While congress as a whole may not be fully informed about the activity of the CIA; there are individuals who hold the necessary clearances and are supposed to be briefed and given access to the classified material so that they can make informed decisions and committee recommendations to the full congress regarding funding and policy.

Deliberately keeping these leaders out of the loop or misinformed is not good policy; it is the policy of fascist totalitarians who wished to control the country and get their way no matter the cost to The Nation and People.

Heres a good one

PalinNugent2012.jpg

http://www.adn.com/palin/story/860923.html

The bill she signed in Fairbanks is aimed at helping people with permits to carry concealed weapons to remember to renew their permits. The permits used to have a renewal date based on the day the permit was issued. The law changes the renewal date to the permit holder's birthday.

In Alaska, residents are allowed to carry weapons either openly or concealed without a permit.

Wow sounds like vital legislation; changing the renewal date of a permit you can get but do not need .

I wonder if they issue licenses for scuba diving in the bathtub too.

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Deliberately keeping these leaders out of the loop or misinformed is not good policy; it is the policy of fascist totalitarians who wished to control the country and get their way no matter the cost to The Nation and People.

Agreed!

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Wow sounds like vital legislation; changing the renewal date of a permit you can get but do not need .

I wonder if they issue licenses for scuba diving in the bathtub too.

The law would have made more sense if you hadn't omitted the sentence that explained why the permits are needed.

I won't comment on the irony.

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... Deliberately keeping these leaders out of the loop or misinformed is not good policy ...

Good God! Let's hope "these leaders" don't agree with that! How would they rely on the theory of "plausible deniability" to avoid impeachment or prosecution if they actually HAVE been fully briefed on what's ACTUALLY going on?

Nevermind, even when they HAVE been briefed, they simply deny it anyway. What a bunch of crooks.

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Congress has NEVER been fully informed. That would kind of defeat the purpose of the CIA (and all the other acronyms).

Doesn't matter. They have to be briefed. National Security Act of 1947

SEC. 501. [50 U.S.C. 413] (a)(1) The President shall ensure that the congressional intelligence committees are kept fully and currently informed of the intelligence activities of the United States, including any significant anticipated intelligence activity as required by this title.
I'm not sure I trust Congress anyway.
(e) Nothing in this Act shall be construed as authority to withhold information from the congressional intelligence committees on the grounds that providing the information to the congressional intelligence committees would constitute the unauthorized disclosure of classified information or information relating to intelligence sources and methods.
Doesn't matter if you trust them. They have to be briefed or it's illegal.

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I'm not sure I trust Congress anyway.
(e) Nothing in this Act shall be construed as authority to withhold information from the congressional intelligence committees on the grounds that providing the information to the congressional intelligence committees would constitute the unauthorized disclosure of classified information or information relating to intelligence sources and methods.
Doesn't matter if you trust them. They have to be briefed or it's illegal.

I'll be very curious to see how this unfolds. That is, will the AG press forward and investigate or will the WH insist that the matter be dropped.

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Telling folks in Congress what's going only gives them reason to hold chest thumping hearings, fly off on junkets or share the info with their pillow mates, whomever it is at the time. My goodness sakes, don't they have enough going trying to fill the pork barrel and making money for themselves in sweetheart deals?

Edited by sethook

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They have to be briefed or it's illegal.

No one obeys these laws and no one expects them to be obeyed. I mean, Christ, if this story is accurate, we only know that this program exists because someone leaked the contents of a classified briefing to the NYT.

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Telling folks in Congress what's going only gives them reason to hold chest thumping hearings, fly off on junkets or share the info with their pillow mates, whomever it is at the time.
They have to be briefed or it's illegal.

No one obeys these laws and no one expects them to be obeyed. I mean, Christ, if this story is accurate, we only know that this program exists because someone leaked the contents of a classified briefing to the NYT.

Even still, the point isn't whether or not "anyone obeys these laws", or if it is necessary. The point is that they didn't obey it, info got out, and now its a problem. If the law is impractical, then they should change the law. Until then, if they're gonna risk something like this they have to be willing for this kind of result.

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Not sure I can support your "nothing matters, it's illegal" argument. Yes, it may be illegal, it may turn out that it's not. It's all in the details of course. The reports I've read state only that "Congress" was kept in the dark. Do they mean the Congressional intelligence committee? That would appear to be illegal. Or Congress in general? Not illegal.

Personally it sounds morel like an intentional campaign to demonize Cheney (or, more accurately, MORE demonization of the e-e-e-evil Cheney). Bush has done what is generally expected of ex-presidents, he's kept his mouth shut. Attempts to continue demonizing him have fallen flat. Cheney, however, has not kept his mouth shut, and I think they'll be finding anything and everything to throw at him, to punish him for speaking his mind. They have a target and they'll be aiming for it.

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Cheney, however, has not kept his mouth shut, and I think they'll be finding anything and everything to throw at him, to punish him for speaking his mind. They have a target and they'll be aiming for it.

Or they're finding out more and more illegal things Cheney did that should have gotten him impeached back when Kucinich was pushing for it.

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The point is that they didn't obey it, info got out, and now its a problem.

So far it only seems to be a problem for Obama. No one is surprised that Cheney or the CIA would withhold information from Congress, so, at worst, this is a bit more evidence to support people's prior beliefs. Obama, on the other hand, is in a predicament: if he takes action against Cheney or any former CIA officials, he'll be compromising his (apparent) belief that we should put the Bush years behind us and move on, and setting a precedent that could come back to haunt him. On the other hand, if he doesn't take action he looks like he condones, or even supports, Cheney's behavior.

If the law is impractical, then they should change the law.

I think I heard that there's a bill to amend it floating around Congress, but I believe White House opposes it. Anyway, I think the current law serves its purpose.

Or they're finding out more and more illegal things Cheney did that should have gotten him impeached back when Kucinich was pushing for it.

I thought we learned ten years ago that symbolic impeachments are a bad idea.

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Obama, on the other hand, is in a predicament: if he takes action against Cheney or any former CIA officials, he'll be compromising his (apparent) belief that we should put the Bush years behind us and move on, and setting a precedent that could come back to haunt him. On the other hand, if he doesn't take action he looks like he condones, or even supports, Cheney's behavior.
I'd just let the Congressional Judiciary Committee handle it. Sure, the DoJ would pretty much have to get involved. I'd rather see action than looking the other way.
I thought we learned ten years ago that symbolic impeachments are a bad idea.
I dont think Cheney and Clinton fell into the same category.

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I'd just let the Congressional Judiciary Committee handle it.

By doing what? They can't even investigate the allegations unless the members and staff of the Committee have the required security clearance or the White House declassifies the program.

I dont think Cheney and Clinton fell into the same category.

They'd both be in the "impeached but not convicted" category.

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My goodness sakes, don't they have enough going trying to fill the pork barrel and making money for themselves in sweetheart deals?

I'm with you. It's over, he's gone lets move on... This is happening because the committee has nothing else to do. Heaven forbid they investigate something current and within the presiding administration. Perhaps do a better job of vetting appointees? Has Obama taken to appointing czars because they bypass the vetting process?

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They'd both be in the "impeached but not convicted" category.

Probably true. If an investigation goes forward I doubt that Cheney will be convicted.

However, the nature of the transgressions are very different. That is, the seriousness of the charges leveled against then President Clinton and Vice President Cheney are not in the same ball park at all.

You can't really equate a middle aged man lying about an affair with a staffer to someone withholding information about a secret counter terrorism program from Congress. VP Cheney's alleged transgression potentially has national security ramifications. President Clinton's transgression was admittedly stupid and an embarrassment, but, it did not impact on the security of the USA.

I will be very curious to see if anything happens. :)

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There's no way anyone's going to investigate THIS administration, people are still in the midst of having orgasms over the power they have.

Further reading on the topic shows the program was PROPOSED, not enacted. Governments PROPOSE things all the time. They run scenarios, they create contingency plans, they propose ridiculous schemes just to see if anything sticks. I'm sure there are plans on how to eliminate Iran's nuclear infrastructure, but that doesn't mean it will, or should, take place.

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Probably true. If an investigation goes forward I doubt that Cheney will be convicted.

I meant that he wouldn't have been convicted if Congress had impeached him. Convicting Cheney would have required a 2/3rds majority in the Senate and at the time the Democrats had 49+2 votes, give or take. It's unlikely that 16 Republicans would have defected.

You can't really equate a middle aged man lying about an affair with a staffer to someone withholding information about a secret counter terrorism program from Congress.

Grrr. I didn't equate them. I didn't even compare them. I was talking about the impeachment itself, not the actions that led to it. I could just easily have used Andrew Johnson's impeachment as an example.

VP Cheney's alleged transgression potentially has national security ramifications. President Clinton's transgression was admittedly stupid and an embarrassment, but, it did not impact on the security of the USA.

Clinton's actions could have left him vulnerable to blackmail. People who have affairs can lose their security clearance for precisely that reason. (And no, I'm still not comparing Clinton and Cheney.)

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Grrr. I didn't equate them. I didn't even compare them. I was talking about the impeachment itself, not the actions that led to it. I could just easily have used Andrew Johnson's impeachment as an example.

Granted, you did not equate the two transgressions, but, you did mention them together. Hence, my objections.

The impeachment of President Clinton was a joke, a witch hunt. President Clinton could have been removed from office, but, for a laughable offense......lying about an affair. If Clinton had any sense at the time he should have said "no comment", when asked about his relationship with Miss Lewinsky.

I enjoyed watching the spectacle of Kenneth Starr and his cohorts trying to pin down the wily President Clinton. I enjoy the fact that the people who attempted to crush President Clinton faded into obscurity. An unrelated point, but, fun nonetheless.

VP Cheney allegedly lied to Congress about a national security issue. If this is true in my opinion I think an investigation is warranted.

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Granted, you did not equate the two transgressions, but, you did mention them together. Hence, my objections.

Er, no, I didn't mention them together. I didn't mention Clinton's at all until the last paragraph of my last post.

VP Cheney allegedly lied to Congress about a national security issue. If this is true in my opinion I think an investigation is warranted.

Cheney's out of office. Congress has been informed. The program appears to have been benign. It's over. If people fell compelled to punish Cheney, they can do it themselves; there's no reason to waste government resources on people's childish urges.

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Cheney's out of office. Congress has been informed. The program appears to have been benign. It's over. If people fell compelled to punish Cheney, they can do it themselves; there's no reason to waste government resources on people's childish urges.

You and I will agree to disagree on this one, jcl. It doesn't matter if the program was benign. Cheney allegedly broke the law by choosing to keep the program secret.

I hope some "childish" lawyers choose to waste government funds and conduct an investigation;-) I've enjoyed this debate immensely. Thanks, jcl!

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I hope some "childish" lawyers choose to waste government funds and conduct an investigation;-) I've enjoyed this debate immensely. Thanks, jcl!

There's more to it than possible government waste. This story coincidentally broke shortly after it became clear that the health care reform plan was going down the toilet. It's entirely possible that the story was leaked to distract the public from the failure of the health care proposal. That normally wouldn't be cause for concern, but I've heard rumors that Congress is working on a rush compromise that could potentially do to health care what Patriot Act did to national security and TARP and the stimulus did to fiscal policy. Not the sort of thing that I would want passed without intense study and debate.

[Edit: Erk, I just realized that my use of "waste" was ambiguous. I didn't mean simply wasting resources but wasting resources that we might need. I don't particular care about the government wasting resources that we don't need. In fact, I encourage it. It keeps the stupider and eviler parts of the government busy.]

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