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. Lt.Dan

    We must never question Bush/Cheney, there are Republicans, keep us safe, and can do no wrong.

    Palin/Cheney 2012

    July 12, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    As I stated earlier when commenting on "Shooters" comments on Fox concerning America being less safe under President Obama. Cheney should just be quiet and be thankful that he doesnt also have "Convicted Felon" proceeding his name. It looks like there's a possibility that may come to pass.

    July 12, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  3. HDObsiye

    Bush administration did a lot of damage to America's credibiliy here and overseas. We should just fix it, make laws that criminalize such inhumane activities, and go on with our lives.

    July 12, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  4. Matt

    Willingly abusing power to break the fundamental laws of the Constitution, a document that our elected officials are SWORN to uphold, is treason. Plain and simple.

    July 12, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  5. SoSaysSam

    barrystash, time to take your medication.

    Cheney belongs in jail for what he has done to this country. Rubs take back the white house 2012... LOL their candidates are all perverts, adulterers, quitters and whack jobs... welcome to family values Republican style.

    July 12, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    Samuel July 12th, 2009 12:40 pm ET

    To GI Joe— Is that the same Constitution that Obama trampled on when he promised Russia to reduce OUR nuclear arms stockpile w/out it even being ratified by the Senate?
    There it is again. Change the subject. Deflect Deflect Deflect

    July 12, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. SF

    Quick Cheney jump back in that wheelchair and have McCain push you on that long downward hill to nowhere directed by Palin! After all, isn't that what the GOP thinks is best for America?

    July 12, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. Guenter Knop

    Cheney should go on trial to show the rest of the world and politicians in this country that you can't do as you like. There are rules and you obey to the rules. This country is telling the rest of the world what " democracy " is and asks everybody else to follow their lead. Make it a lead according to the constitution not criminals like Cheney, Nixon and Oliver North.

    July 12, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  9. lol

    How many times was Bin laden offered to Bill "bj" Clinton? I guess we really know who was asleep at the wheel and let 911 happen.

    Read/google the Phoenix Memo before you spout off your foolishness . . .

    July 12, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  10. daunt

    Cheney needs to speak up. McCain needs to shut up.

    July 12, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  11. WAW

    I watched all the watergate hearings (most all anyway) and heard Republicans lie and lie again util Howard Baker called for the truth. Now here we are again, same people and same lies... Focus on the Family, Jerry Farwell's sons, Republicans in Congress, Republican governors, local and state Republicans should step up like Howard Baker did and ask for the truth from their selected leaders. The Truth shall make you free... search for it. Republicans must take the lead or admit the lie.

    July 12, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. Steve in Kentucky

    Time for Dick Cheney to stand trial ... at last.

    July 12, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  13. Karen,

    McCain you are living in a dream world like usual.
    Hearing from Cheney and believing it, you believe in the Toothfairy too.

    July 12, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. Andi

    GI Joe – I don't believe the Constitution makes any reference to how many nuclear weapons we should have.

    July 12, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. wasif

    I respect McCain and what he has done for the country but as being Muslic American and living in free country where according to consitution nobody is above law, we deserve to know the truth. I am sorry whenever something goes wrong in some muslim countries we all say, so terorrists strike again or this a terorrist country, we need to go attack on this country to save American lives.

    Now when the truth is coming out that its the politicains with full lies who lied then and liying again about what wrong or right. Mr. McCain what image are you talking about? Don't the world leaders to know that in America Justice is priorty is number one. Are we going to lie again to protect thugs like Bush and Dick..... What about all of those innocents that have died? Don't you think their families deserve justice too? or are we talking about " The Justice" that seems right to politians only.

    July 12, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  16. Andi

    sorry, GI – that was for Samuel, not you

    July 12, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  17. Georgia

    Cheney definitely has the correct 1st name – Dick. He needs to be tried for abuse of power for trying to circumvent 2 other branches of government!

    July 12, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  18. Dave A&M

    Samuel- Nice strawman. All US treaties have be ratified by the congress before they are put into action. Russia knows and so does the Obama. Thier agreement on extending START is not official until the congress approves it.

    July 12, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  19. Texas Girl

    So long CNN. I won't be reading your liberal biased reporting and monitoring of blogs. Seems like you only want people to see what your idiot liberal friends think. God help this country – since the fools that post on this website are clueless and can't seem to stay on point.

    July 12, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  20. George

    This is all just a smokescreen for this recession and spiraling unemployment. I tell you this I have owned a business a long time and never saw it this bad with Reagan, Clinton, or Bush 1 or 2. We have wasted so frivilous money on that ridiculous stimulus and now the Dem's are ramming through healthcare and cap & trade. Obama is ruining our country and he is no LEADER.

    July 12, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  21. Donkey Party

    So opening a criminal investigation of the covert dealings of the Bush Administration would make for a good Al-queda "recruiting tool", but leaving GITMO open doesn't??? Way to show your stripes Senator John Doofus Warmonger McAncient.

    July 12, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  22. Frank

    Does this REALLY surprise anyone?

    Cheney lied to Congress and the American people for years. I'd personally like to see him tried, convicted, and thrown in prison for the rest of his life if only to show future leaders that they can be held accountable for their crimes. I doubt it will happen, but I can still dream.

    July 12, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  23. David from WI

    The delusional Bush is an idiot Cheney is a war criminal loons did far more damage to the US image than any real wold policies.

    People get confused on reality and fantasy regarding the past administration with what was rumored and what DID happen during the last eight years.

    Were was I for the last eight years. I was embarrassed for those in our country that let their paranoia get the better of them (as happens with the emotionally sensitive left when a non Democrat is in the white house)

    July 12, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  24. Frank

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

    Yeah Senator Manchurian Candidate, that what happens in a free and open society.

    July 12, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  25. Z

    So.. Dickey Boy.....Lets put you before Congress and let's say....water board you to get the truth. It's not torture according to your book so you and your republicKLANS should not have a problem with that.

    Wow....the TV ratings would go though the roof......80+ share rating....LOL

    July 12, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
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