Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cheney Ordered CIA To Withhold Info From Congress

"WASHINGTON (CNN) -- CIA Director Leon Panetta testified to a congressional committee that he was told former Vice President Dick Cheney ordered the intelligence agency to withhold information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Sunday."

"Panetta briefed lawmakers on June 24 on an unspecified counterterrorism program, according to a letter from seven House Democrats to Panetta made public Wednesday. The June 26 letter characterized Panetta as testifying that the CIA "concealed significant actions from all members of Congress, and misled members for a number of years from 2001 to this week."

It does not surprise me at all that Dick Cheney would order the CIA to conduct illegal, covert, surveillance on American citizens and then order them to not disclose it to the congressional oversight committees whose job it is to make sure the CIA is operating within the law.

Just to make this crystal clear, this means that Dick Cheney committed criminal acts while in office and ordered others to commit criminal acts.

I hope Eric Holder has the balls to prosecute him. Dick Cheney spent 8 years shitting all over the concept of co-equal branches of government, pissing all over the idea of checks and balances, and wiping his ass with the constitution.

He belongs in a federal prison.


Anonymous said...

Prosecute Pelosi too!

Sick of ALL the crooked politicians!

m.v. said...

I wonder if Cheney is still in the White House doing his criminal acts because (from the same article):"The White House opposes a measure that would increase the number of briefing participants from the current eight to 40 members of Congress. A White House memo warned President Obama's senior advisers would recommend a veto of the bill if it contained the expanded briefing provision."

Jason said...

I love that picture comparison. Scary how close it is.

I Travel for JOOLS said...

I read (don't know if true) that this did not involve any domestic program but of course we won't know until details are provided.

Xavier Onassis said...

m.v. - That's a different matter. I understand the need to keep secrets. An intelligence agency can't do it's job without covert operations and secrecy.

I would agree that having 40 self-important attention whores know those secrets is about 5 times worse than having 8 people know.

But SOMEBODY has to know. The CIA is required by law to keep the oversight committees from both houses of congress informed about ALL of their activities. It is illegal for them to keep information from the elected representives of the American people or to lie to those representatives.

That is exactly what they have been doing for 8 years under the direct orders of Dick Cheney.

That's a crime.

You know the CIA knew they were doing something wrong, because with Cheney out of office, it was the CIA who informed Podesta that they had been hiding this program from from congress. Podesta immediately shut it down and informed congress.

Xavier Onassis said...

jools - we(you and me) may never know the details of he program. And we probably shouldn't. But even if the program itself was perfectly legal, the fact that the CIA did not inform the congressional oversight committees about it is the crime.

m.v. said...

CIA avoided informing your elected representatives since it was created at the end of WWII. Nothing changed in the past 8 years (and it's well documented to the point where it's not even up for discussion, it's just a fact). The point I was making (and we discussed this before) that the new administration extended or reused a surprising amount of the previous administration's policies, the same ones they denounced before as evil and illegal. They are not promoting the openness they promised.And (don't lie to yourself here) if Bush threatened to veto expansion of the number of congressmen briefed by the CIA you would not be as understanding.Lastly, no matter what the situation is, I believe Pelosi WAS briefed on torture and now denies it, and you know it from her ever-changing story. It doesn't make her any better or worse than the other 434 scumbags who sit next to her, just the same.

Xavier Onassis said...

m.v. - You are absolutely correct. The CIA kept many of its activities secret from our elected officials beginning with Wild Bill Donovan and continuing for decades.

We are still paying the price for that willful ignorance in our relationship with Iran and the rest of the world. There are some very good reasons why people in other countries hate us.

It really wasn't until 1974 when Seymour Hersh wrote his famous "family jewels" article in the New York times that the public got its first look at "the company".

That led to the Church Committee investigations and the Hughes-Ryan Act. This was the first effort to hold the CIA and the President accountable to the electorate for their actions by requiring them to report their activities to House and Senate Oversight Committees.

This was enhanced and reinforced by the Intelligence Oversight Act of 1980.

With these legislative acts, it became illegal for the CIA to conduct any covert operations without fully disclosing them to the oversight committees.

Not saying they quit doing it, just saying it is now a prosecutable offense.

Trying to be intellectually honest here. You are right. I probably would have favored expanding the Intelligence Oversight from 8 to 40 under Bush. Because I didn't trust them. And I was right. Should I trust any administration? Probably not. How's that for introspection? Happy? Fucker.

Don't get me started on Pelosi. Just like Cheney and Limbaugh, she does nothing but cause damage everytime her vocal cords vibrate.

I have no fucking idea why she is SOTH. She's like a Democrat Sarah Palin or Dan Quale. No good can come from her opening her mouth. Nope. Not even that.

But just to "circle back", as we say in corporate America, if Dick Cheney ordered the CIA to hide covert operations from congressional oversight committees, he is guilty of a criminal act under both the Hughes-Ryan Act and the Intelligence Oversight Act.

I hope Eric Holder has the cajones to hoist Cheney on his own petard.

Vigilante said...

Cheney was out of control. Nothing he did as VPOTUS should escape scrutiny. That said, I think this super secret program was not unlawful surveillance of Americans, but (planning) assassinations of Al-Qaeda targets

If this is what it turns out to be, I don't think this story packs much of a wallop and Progressives do not serve our cause well in lending it legs. In the wake of 911, getting al Qaeda leaders dead or alive (later vacated by Bush!) was of paramount importance and legitimacy. It was much, much, much more appropriate than invading and occupying Iraq. As far as who in Congress is entitled to information like this, that's pretty much of a slippery slope. (Loose lips and loosely-bound minds.)

emawkc said...

Obama has supported spying on Americans since he voted in favor of broadening wiretap powers last year.

To me, the interesting thing about this story is how it was reported. According to the quote, Feinstein said that Panetta said that some unknown CIA person said that Cheney gave the order.

Nice. Fifth-hand hearsay from people with an ax to grind. Pretty slopping reporting if you ask me.

rma said...

Maybe Cheney is least he was doing something....he could have sat there with his finger up his ass,while he was second in command then after he was out of office make a movie about global warming.Or hold office for eight years and do nothing on heathcare reform then run again on a health care reform platform.....

I Travel for JOOLS said...

I'll tell ya something. If Holder goes after Bush or Cheney (especially Bush) Obama's ratings will sink like an anchor. Most people are done with the past and wanting to move forward, not backward. The economy is #1. It's all about jobs right now. I just got back from Wisconsin. Even the democrats in my family are starting to waver in their support for Obama - most believing he is doing too much too fast.

Vigilante has some good insight.

Michael Amantea said...

I put "Darth Vader Toaster" into Google and HALF the stories are about Dick Cheney!!!

CNN has one of his own people calling stories about him "Darth Vader Stories..."

You would think he would have told them not to...

That same video has one of his people on fox news not knowing that you dont look directly into the camera!

If he stands between the American people and out Darth Vader Toasters... HE MUST BE STOPPED!