July 12th, 2009
12:50 PM ET
9 years ago

McCain: CIA secrecy story just beginning

Sen. McCain said Sunday that he expects more details to come out about reports of instructions from former Vice President Cheney to the CIA.

Sen. McCain said Sunday that he expects more details to come out about reports of instructions from former Vice President Cheney to the CIA.

(CNN) - Sen. John McCain thinks we haven't heard the last about allegations that former Vice President Dick Cheney ordered secrecy for a CIA surveillance operation after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

"If I know Washington, this is the beginning of a pretty involved and detailed story," McCain said Sunday on the NBC program "Meet the Press."

According to a New York Times report, Cheney ordered the CIA to withhold information about the unspecified program from Congress.

CIA Director Leon Panetta told the House Intelligence Committee last month about the program, which he said had been shut down.

McCain said he knew little about the program and offered no details. He said he expected Cheney, who has yet to comment on the story, to speak up.

"The vice president should be heard from" about the accusations leveled against him, McCain said.

Related: Cheney and alleged secret CIA program 'a problem,' Senator says

However, McCain opposes a possible federal investigation into the Bush administration's authorization of harsh interrogation techniques including waterboarding. Weekend news reports said Attorney General Eric Holder is considering such a probe, which some Democrats favor even though President Barack Obama has withheld support.

McCain said a special investigation would only publicize "bad things" that harm America's image in the world.

"We all know that the operatives who did it, most likely, were under orders to do it," McCain said.

"Do we want America's image harmed by dragging this out further and further?" he continued, calling photos of prisoner abuse in Iraq the "greatest recruiting tool" for al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

Related: Holder considers prosecutor to probe interrogations, source says

Filed under: CIA • Dick Cheney • John McCain • Popular Posts
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. Alan in Marietta, GA

    Expect Dick and Liz to jump-start Lying 2009 II tour.

    July 12, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  2. Popduds.com

    Cheney and the entire GOP brand make me want to puke. I demand an investigation, let the chips fall where they may. THE TRUTH MUST COME OUT.

    July 12, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  3. fugb

    yep, close your eyes, stick your fingers in your ears, and hum....and it all never happened.

    July 12, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  4. Patriot

    Let the executions begin!

    July 12, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. Bruce

    You can't help but wonder where McCain Stands. Basically I think most Republicians Love and respect him, but never have felt that he was a real conservative or Republician. I do think the Senator should probably just keep his mouth shut with respect to our former VP. Cheney is more than capable of "speaking up", and defending himself.

    July 12, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  6. Keith in Austin

    Granted, in the wake of 9/11 what the Whitehouse did to keep America safe was covert. I for one am glad Cheney didn't open it up for public comment to the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Harry Reid and a host of other bleeding heart liberals sitting in Congress at the time! Leave this alone and concentrate on the issues confronting us now!

    July 12, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  7. Antonio

    Good for the maverick McCain to speak up on this! Wonder how FoxNews will spin this one. Either that, or forget to report it altogether.

    July 12, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  8. john

    where there is smoke there is fire. lets see if Vader comes to put it out or claim there is no fire at all....

    July 12, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  9. mark ferbet, kansas city, mo.

    This should be investigated, but quietly, and those that broke the law should be brought to justice. However, I am with McCain and Obama on this, the people following orders, need to be protected, those giving the orders need to be prosecuted.

    July 12, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  10. do we need to hear more?

    a person gets tired typing all the things Cheney did to hurt the U.S. in those miserable 8 years

    interesting story, so Cheney had a Bourne Idenity type program going and was killing people around the world?

    until we get the full story, might as well be the story, doesn't sound beyond him

    evil man, Cheney is an evil man

    July 12, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  11. GI Joe

    Hmm – tell me Cheney is secretive? Go awy !!!!! (sarcasm)

    I think the "death of US" Cheney will just lie more, like he did for 8 years.

    Anyone that opens an investigation into the Bush/Cheney "crap" gets my vote – 2010 and 2012 can't come soon enough.

    Vote, people. If the next batch doesn't work for the USA, vote them out too.

    July 12, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  12. Luan Isuffi

    What else is new?
    Bush/Cheney was the most incompetent and crooked administration
    this country ever had.Put them all in jail.

    July 12, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  13. Rich

    Dick Cheney and George Bush are confessed war criminals. Both Dick Cheney and George Bush have publicly admitted ordering the torture of prisoners of war. Torture is a war crime.

    Dick Cheney and George Bush must be tried and executed.

    July 12, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  14. 60's survivor

    every country has been called to task when involved in unethical behaviour. why should ours be any different. it's not like "no one knows". own up or face the consequences of losing any credibility. we were once the leader of the so called free world. ain't an easy job. but we need to stand up

    July 12, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  15. Sou@MiamiBeach

    The entire world would know that the American people want the true and that NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW...That is the american value!!!
    The world would respect us then!

    July 12, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  16. Seattle Sue

    Bush and Cheney equals the most secretive administration ever. I remember Cheney's secret energy meeting in February, 2001. We still don't know who he met with. I feel that the high price of energy that we now have is probably from this meeting.

    July 12, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  17. JLS

    And to think the future of the Republican Party, Sarah Palin, confides in Dick Cheney.

    July 12, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  18. In Texas

    Why doesn't Cheney speak up? He's been talking about enhanced interrogations and surveillance for months apparently to "clear" his name. Why not speak up now? It has been a couple of days since the story broke. He better not hide behind "it's classified" defense because he wanted classified information released on the effectiveness of enhanced interrogations.

    July 12, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  19. John, a proud veteran

    We know it happened. we've seen some pictures. Corrections have been made. I agree with McCain on this one. Cable news and newspapers want more details to get more viewers and sell more ads. This is now tabloid news which does nothing to help us, but helps the Arab press. This old news story should be buried.

    July 12, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  20. Patrick, Mass.

    Too much politics within the CIA. Those who follow illegal orders should be fired. Those who ordered should be prosecuted. Otherwise, the CIA is just another office in the White House. Oh, and if Cheney is still talking to his "friends" there, that is illegal as well. He's a citizen now.

    July 12, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  21. DJ BALL

    Cheney is a national disgrace. A torturing ,war criminal disgrace.
    Millions of us are waiting for a real investigation into 911.

    July 12, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  22. Luan Isuffi

    And by the way-everybody should be prosecuted.
    Look back at Nurenberg trial-Nazis were too only following orders.

    July 12, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  23. GI Joe

    I don't think most people got the greedy change they wanted, but I do think change has come to this country.

    We are all listening and looking now. Not like previosly, when we just accepted what the DC crowds crammed down our throats.

    Didn't get what you wanted? Don't blog hate and anger. Write YOUR Representatives weekly until THEY start working for you. You're paying for it.

    July 12, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  24. Blue Demon

    CNN has never posted my comments and will not post this one, but Cheney will never speak up on his own wrong doings. He is a coward and looks out for no one but himself.

    July 12, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  25. Denise

    Schumer is correct. Everybody needs to be patient. It will take about a year, I think, for the effects of the stimulus to really be noticed.

    July 12, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
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