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. Independant Voter

    What country are people posting on here from?
    Who are these traitors who are suggesting that anything Cheney or Bush did during their term is acceptable, so long as we chalk it up to protecting us?

    So, now these folks want to live in a country where the government officials can do anything they see fit, and we should not question whether their actions defy our constitution or our VALUES?

    Sounds like the defensive cries from the people who live in dictator-worshipping lands like the middle-east or Russia! Long live the dear leaders, eh?
    Come on. If they broke the law, then they did.
    If they violated our American standards, then they did.
    Let's not sit here and defend such actions.

    Our rules apply to all of us. Bush and Cheney, too.

    July 12, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  2. Brook Mantia

    Why does Dick Cheney hate America? And why isn't he in jail yet? I took an oath to protect this country from enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC, so I am acting on my duty to place Dickie Boy under citizen's arrest. Take him away boys...none too gently.

    July 12, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  3. james gary

    When all the truth comes out (if it ever does), I firmly beleive that Cheney knew what was coming on 9/11 and let it happen so he would have his ticket to that oil pipeline he had been wanting for a long time, which would run through Afghanistan. The oil in Iraq was just icing on the cake for him. If Gore (real winner in 2000) had been in office, 9/11 would not have happened. Cheney has no heart and should spend the rest of his miserable life in jail!! Take Dubya with him, too!

    July 12, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  4. Jerry in NC

    barrystash....sounds like you been hitting your stash way too much! How in the world do you and people like you spew that garbage from your lips and type it from your fingers???? The really sad and disgusting thing is, that you really believe the lies and feel the way you do. It's that type of thinking that has gotten this country and the world into the condition it is in now.

    July 12, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  5. barrystash

    southern progressive – the Honduran military removed a President who decided to have an election to make him President for life. Nothing in the Honduran constituion allows for that. The Honduran supreme court and people of the President's own party asked the military to intervene. Chavez, the Marxist president for life in Venezuela was helping the Honduran president stage the vote. The Obamots supported the illegal election and even brought the would be dictator to Washington for consultation. If the Obama administration tries the same thing the military would be within their legal right to oust him. You Obamots can scream all you wish the word "coup" but a President who steps outside the law is himself staging a coup.

    July 12, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  6. girlymen love the GOP

    Thanks John,looks like you may finally be free of the chip they put in your brain to use you since the 2000 election.TCM claims to be a vet,hahaha,he cant be more than fifteen years old.Hes on here everyday using multiple names.

    July 12, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  7. Rob G.

    Whenever I read something, above and elsewhere, by a "conservative", the truth is stretched beyond all sanity. Do you really believe Obama, (note I say "Obama" and not his entire team. Limbaugh and his ilk like to "personalize" everything). Do you really believe Obama WANTS to bankrupt America? Do you think he wants that to be his legacy? Do you really believe this latest CIA program "never got off the ground"? Do you have a pipeline to information the rest of the world doesn't yet have? Where did you get your "facts"? Do you just hear and repeat "what feels good"? If Repubs can't find something to blame us for, each and every day of their lives, they make up our "plans" or our "thinking" and, then, criticize that. These people aggravate me no end. Study after study confirm we are more polarized, as U.S. citizens than ever before and it only serves to put many millions of dollars into Rush's bank account, his reward for spewing endless half-truths and misinformation only to be gobbled up by those who readily admit they don't believe "the mainstream media", ie., everyone but the propagandists who entertain them, daily, with their name-calling and commie-baiting.

    July 12, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  8. jack

    9/11 information/ Intelligence WAS received by the former administration.
    which was Bush/Cheney.
    They IGNORED It.

    How can you say they kept us safe?
    They let it happen and then created a world of fear to keep people in place. 9/11 happened on Cheney's watch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 12, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  9. Chris

    Cheney spent the first half of this year trying to intimidate those who would question the Bush Administration into silence. He and his daughter, Liz, went to every t.v. show and speaking forum to frantically try to hold back the tide.

    Now the groundswell is too big.

    If Madoff got 150 years and never killed anyone, what should Cheney and Bush get for the lies, the billions in Halliburton contracts and, especially, the lives lost?

    July 12, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  10. Rob G.

    My cousin was a lifetime high-up foreign service official married to a lifetime CIA employee. He worked in Afghanistan, Poland, and other past and present hotspots. He and his wife are appalled at the arrogance of the Bush administration and the damage they have done to our battle against terrorism. Can't you people see that we are making terrorists faster than we can kill them?

    July 12, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  11. barrystash

    Rob G – to answer your first question, YES, Obama wants to bankrupt the country, and quickly. It creats dissatifaction amongst the masses while at the same time he pushes out his Marxist drivel. His entire adult life history up to now points the fact that he wants a radical Socialist state with him sitting at the top.

    July 12, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  12. Keith in Austin

    The utter hatred you Liberals continue to spew in regard to Bush/Chaney is amazing. Comments like hanging them like Saddam for war crimes and comparing them to Hitler pales in comparison to the angst expressed by the GOP to Obama.

    Your Party won, remember? The issues of TODAY are not being addressed. As I see it, The Dems have 1.5 years of control in Congress and will lose the Whitehouse in 2012. Your time is running out and wasting time on this issue will add to your certain demise in the next elections.

    July 12, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  13. travis

    Oh and here come the Obamamites. The short lived love affair with our new President of Hope is quickly coming to an end. Too bad we have to wait until 2012 for the Republican Party to be elected back into office. I just hope we make until then. God bless America.

    July 12, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  14. Chris in SC (not to be confused in liberal Chris)

    To Nevada Voter:

    Your argument is based on zero facts and total speculation, just like the story, at this point supported by an "unnamed source." Your lack of facts, speculation and conspiracy theories are a great summation of political discourse on this webpage and in America. It is like watching dogs chase their tails.

    Bush and Cheney are no longer in office. However, let's distract and obfuscate from the glaring flaws of the current administration and revel in the hate for an administration that is no longer in office.

    Rather then analyze Obama's current policies in Iraq (Bush II if you haven't noticed) or Afghanistan or the lack of coherent policy towards Iran and N. Korea, or his fraudulent arguments for the pork filled and undirected stimulus plan that is being exposed day by day, or his love of apologizing for American arrogance while declaring we will control the world's climate, or his stance that no lobbyists would work in his administration and then hiring them left and right, or his attempt to stifle debate of his policies by continually blaming his decisions and that of his Congress on the prior administration.

    These are things worth discussing.

    July 12, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  15. GI Joe

    Any time our government appears to have trampled on our Constituion, they need to be investigated. Without the hate and fear that are so rampant these days

    (Notice I didn't call anyone stupid, mean, ugly, hateful, or and Obamobot, Rethug, etc?)

    Stop the hate – it kills the hater inside and out, body and soul.

    Reason will win over hate and fear.

    July 12, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  16. markus

    I am so sick of posts talking about "Libs" being mean and hateful by these neo-conservative nutjobs.

    You fools have your heads stuck so far in the sand, Cheney could come out and reveal the full details of all the morally reprehensible wrongs that occurred under his- oh, I'm sorry, under Bush's- watch, and you would probably still rush to their defense. Sad. I don't know how people like Cheney, Limbaugh, Hannity, Palin, Gingrich and so many others- and those who mindlessly support them becuse they're for good ol' fashioned White-American apple pie, supposedly- can sleep at night with a clear conscience.

    To stubbornly insist you are right when every shred of evidence puts you in the wrong takes a special, scary kind of person...

    AND, if the details of this reveal that Pelosi was telling the truth, be prepared to eat SEVERE crow...

    July 12, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  17. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    I believe john doesn't know much about it
    but I do believe Cheney is about to get his hands slaped
    and if the truth does come out .maybe we won't have to listen to Cheney's lies any more . and we can move on in a productive way
    and bring back honesty to our government .
    thank you too the president and everyone that is helping to bring our economy and lives back to better place

    July 12, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  18. Tom Liebengood

    Your people weren't worried about bringing up every little detail about the Lewensky/Clinton affair. This is a far more important matter and you want to keep it quiet for the sake of our "image". Double standard Mr. McCain and a weak argument–not surprising! We need to know the truth and facts when our rights are at stake.

    July 12, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  19. Samuel

    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.

    July 12, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  20. barrystash

    jack – again, the only rationale for what you say is if Obama is in a political freefall. Bush did not stage a coup to remain in control. He knew a new administration would take over. He and Cheney, despite the hate speech spewed here by Obamots, did nothing wrong. The only thing they have to hide is what may be helpful to the jihadists and Marxists who want to destory our country.

    July 12, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  21. uncle Jimbo

    Is it not time to have the Congressional Sgt. At Arms arrest Cheney, Rove, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, and the rest of the gang of thieves. How many more wrong-doings will it take ? The Bush/Cheney regime has destroyed our economy and our good standing around the world.
    No country trusts us anymore because of them.

    Arrest them and let the trials begin – Our Country will be stronger as a result.

    July 12, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  22. JAM

    It's way past time to put Cheney and Bush under oath.

    Make, Them. Accountable.

    July 12, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  23. fbrown

    It is amazing that the republcan view supporters who claim to have a edge on polcal belef are the first to not only commit hypocrisy when it comes to the bible but also are so quick to try and justify the theology they believe in. How could any sane person believe that violating the law is ok. Whenever they try to support any and everyting that Cheney did that was wrong for this nation, it reinforces my belief that these people are the worst because they hide behide the bible but don't believe in the actual spoken words of the bible. We are a nation of laws and we don't pick the ones that we want to abide by . That is what real character is all about. I would have some respect for republcians if they were not so one sided on everything.

    July 12, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  24. Andrew

    Ooh, we're all so angry, aren't we? Republicans want to prosecute only Democrats and Democrats want to prosecute only Republicans, for crimes given bipartisan approval! Meanwhile, Obama's security policies (if you actually reasearch them and don't just swallow what the partisan pundits feed you) are mostly the same as Bush's.

    Keep pointing fingers, Americans! Don't look in your mirrors! It's all the other guys' faults! All you need is the right dictator-in-chief/father figure!

    Where would American politics be without hypocrisy and psychological projection?

    July 12, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    To Rob G:

    A. You blame polarization on Rush. That may be true, but make sure you blame Michael Moore, too.

    B. You name-call people for name-calling.
    "...the propagandists who entertain them, daily, with their name-calling and commie-baiting"

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