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. Olive

    And Cheney was one of two BED-FELLOWS Sarah Failin called before QUITTING! This must have to do with her "higher calling"...

    July 12, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  2. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    Here is what Cheney will say:

    "Those methods acquired a lot of super important terrorist intelligence and it saved America time and time again. However, I cannot tell you, America what the secret method is. You will just have to trust me. Let's move on."

    Nixon is no longer the TRICKY DICK.

    Cheney tricked America and he tricked Bush too.

    July 12, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. To: Afghan Vet

    thank you for your service to this country

    I respectfully disagree with you about Cheney

    lie after lie, much of it not in defense of our country

    he is a terrible example of a leader, his time in office marked by moving from what ever would justify his view of the world to his next plan and if there was a problem he didn't solve it, he covered it up

    we need to get all this out into the open so this never happens again

    July 12, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  4. ASingh

    Yes, we need t get the whole truth out, not just bits and pieces. NO eans hould be spared to get the facts out. Recommended techniques which can be used to get the truth out from Cheney, Rove and Rumsfield should include Waterboarding (not torture according to these people)

    July 12, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  5. GI Joe

    Afghan Vet July 12th, 2009 10:36 am ET

    Keep up the good work Mr. Vice President. Some people do understand that difficult decisions require more background information than what the U.S. population needs to know about. As a current deployed member of the military I'm glad that someone has the courage to do what's necessary to get us information to keep America safe.
    It's called The Constitution. Should we just cast that silly document aside now that Bush/Cheney took a dump on it?

    July 12, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  6. Aspen Professor

    Ah yes, Sen. McCain, hearing from Cheney would be a step in the right direction.

    Unfortunately, will we be able to believe anything he says? For 8
    too-long years, we learned what the espoused Values of the Bush – Cheney White House were. In no particular order .... Arrogance, Blantant Lying, Hypocrisy, and Extremism!

    And, of late,we have been hearing from the GOP that we need to rush back to their Values before America goes down the drain and into ... shudder ... Liberalism. Given the choice between Liberalism and Extreme Right Conserv – Repubism, I'll take Liberalism. And, I refuse to learn how to goose-step with the boys in black.

    July 12, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  7. john u

    The chances of Dick Cheney telling the truth are zero, even if he is waterboarded. He needs to apoligize to Nancy Pelosi too, and so does the rest of the Republican party for that matter, though I'm sure the Republicans will wait until Rush or O'Reilly gives them some spin drivel cover and they eat it up like the well trained Pavlov's dogs they are. Cheney won't talk (and neither will the rest of 'em) because life in prison might upset their retirement plans.

    July 12, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  8. Major Major

    It makes me both angry and sad to think of how the "last eight years" has eroded so many Americans trust and confidence in our government. We are a better, more honorable country than the administration believed. I wonder how we let those chumps get away with it.

    July 12, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  9. T

    I always loved McCain's integrity.

    July 12, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  10. The Truth Is?

    @Alan in Marietta, GA July 12th, 2009 9:59 am ET
    Expect Dick and Liz to jump-start Lying 2009 II tour****You are sooo Right ****** Shame on Dick and LIZ!!!

    July 12, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  11. Why is EVERYTHING someone elses business?

    I believe this guy is evil and not only am I tired of looking at his face, he will LIE, LIE and LIE until he dies to cover his A$$.

    July 12, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  12. ge ontario

    the only thing goerge and dick care about are there off shore bank acounts and off shore invest ments dubia

    July 12, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  13. To: Jhak Schiddt

    ok all knowing one, what is the trap

    I think more likely you need to quit smoking the wacky tobaky, open the window shades and let in some light, go down to your local coffee shop and have a cup and go on a date with a woman

    step away from the computer, too many drugs and too much time in the basement have clouded your brain

    July 12, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. Ross, Chautauqua, NY

    McCain says that photos of the prisoner abuse was the "greatest recruiting tool for Al-Queda" which shows just how mistaken and how bad his judgment is. It was the lack of law and the abuse itself, that became a recruiting tool. Thank God he isn't president. And thank God his choice for vice president also isn't in Washington.

    July 12, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  15. Joe Smoe

    Oh McCain get your head out of the sand, if you think Cheney is going to speak up you are nuttier than I thought!
    This is how he lives his life and what he thrives on take it all away and he will die

    July 12, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  16. chris

    Lets check up on ALLof them. Put the two Biggest putzs in Jail and take All the money Dick and that Tex-ass Gov. have made from the last 8 years of their war and apply it to the finacial mess they left for all of us (and my children) to clean up.

    July 12, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  17. Jim in Idaho

    Operatives were "under orders to do it?" Details might "tarnish our image?"

    Just imagine if either of those had been legitimate defenses at Nuremburg.....we wouldn't have been able to convict a single Nazi for a single crime after WW2.

    What tarnishes our image, John McCain, is that we continue to act like "just following orders" now apparentl;y has the legitimacy that the world did not give it 60 years ago. Back then we hung both those who gave the orders and those who unquestioningly followed them.

    July 12, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  18. oldwhiteguy

    America, you can't handle the truth...

    Four jet planes 'vaporized' on 9/11.
    The ONLY identifiable debris was the hijackers passports.
    All the footage of the events was removed from sight so no one could question it.
    The so called investigation was as fair and open as Iran's last election.
    We all understand the need for 'secrets'. You can't show all your cards or you'll never win a hand.
    IF, IF, all the secret info came to light today, the whole would attack us tomorrow.
    Maybe that's Cheney's plan. Leak enough to get us hit again...

    July 12, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  19. B. Szakacs

    Cheney and most of the "new" GOP are perpetual LYERS.

    July 12, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  20. ge ontario

    i don,t hear macain wanting to bomb north china over demostration in that country why

    July 12, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  21. Mary

    Cheney is a slimeball!!!!

    July 12, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  22. GI Joe

    T July 12th, 2009 10:47 am ET

    I always loved McCain's integrity.
    So did a lot of folks,until his "Fatal Attraction" last fall.

    July 12, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  23. Fritz

    Sorry, John......................Cheney needs to be indicted, tried, (obviously) found guilty, and be jailed. He's the thorn in the ass of every Washington Bush-era politician.

    July 12, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  24. sonotimpressed

    Hiding the truth of this from the American people and the world ensures it will happen again. It also encourages and justifies other nations hide the truth of their governments as well. And that is not good for Americas national security.

    Terrorist already have plenty to recruit with. McCains concern about them having more is tail-chasing nonsense.

    July 12, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  25. Army Veteran

    I'm sure the CIA didn't tell congress everything. Why would they when the Democrats were leaking our counter terrorism information. The facts stand. Cheney prevented any more attacks on the US for almost 8 years. Lets see how the Democrats do.

    July 12, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
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