July 12th, 2009
01:47 PM ET
5 years ago

Senator: Cheney and alleged secret CIA program 'a problem'

Former Vice President Dick Cheney reportedly ordered the CIA to withhold information about counterterrorism.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney reportedly ordered the CIA to withhold information about counterterrorism.

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.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, told the "FOX News Sunday" program that Panetta testified that "he was told that the vice president had ordered that the program not be briefed to the Congress."

"I think this is a problem, obviously," Feinstein said, adding that the law requires full disclosure of such operations to Congress.

The disclosure by Panetta to both the Senate and House intelligence committees about Cheney's involvement was first reported in The New York Times. Efforts to contact Cheney for reaction were unsuccessful.

CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano declined to comment on the report.

"It's not agency practice to discuss what may or may not have been said in a classified briefing," Gimigliano said. "When a CIA unit brought this matter to Director Panetta's attention, it was with the recommendation that it be shared with Congress. That was also his view, and he took swift, decisive action to put it into effect."

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Filed under: CIA • Dick Cheney
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Sam I Am

    This would appear to vindicate Pelosi. It's not surprising that Cheney ordered the CIA to withhold information. He has been the greatest failure as Vice President in decades. His complete disregard for the rule of law is apalling. What is a bit disconcerting is that the CIA, with full knowledge of the illegality of following Cheney's directives, did so.

    The espionage community is a secretive one by design. I for one do not think it appropriate to disclose operation details to members of congress who have proven time and time again they cannot keep a secret. I DO however, expect the CIA to uphold the law as it applies to them. Of course I would expect the president and vice president to do the same. Apparently that's too much to ask.

    July 12, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. Jenn, Philadelphia

    So, Congress gets a classified briefing advising them that then Vice President Cheney told the CIA to withhold telling Congress about a secret program, and immediately someone in Congress leaks information about the briefing. I wonder why the Vice President was worried about telling Congress about the program in the first place? Silly man!

    July 12, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  3. Dave

    Of course McCain knows what he is talking about, since he said the economy was in fine shape last fall.

    July 12, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  4. Hey CNN

    I want to hear more about the Bush tapes the British are investigating where he admits there were no weapons of mass destruction and he talks of ways to trick everyone into war. There is another news agency that's played excerpts why is this not a story?

    July 12, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. jason

    Dr. Strangelove strikes again! Revisionist history can only be stretched so far. Cheney committed crimes that we will only be discovering over the next 4-8 years. Prosecute him and the other members of the cadre NOW, or the next R prez will see to it that this never sees the light of day again. Everyone remember Ford's pardon of Tricky Dicky?

    July 12, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  6. Mike n LA

    It's time Dick pays the piper for ignoring the laws and Constitution of the United States of America. The Attorney General should indict him!!!!

    No person, President, Vice President is above the Law.....

    July 12, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. Dean

    I don't think I would want our incompenent do nothing right congress to have knowledge of any secret program of any kind. Let them continue to investigate steroid use among baseball players and hold hearings on how we should determine who is number one in college football.

    July 12, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. Steve851

    I don't see the "problem." Cheney's a nobody now and it gets the CIA off the hook

    July 12, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  9. S M R

    Domestic terrorists like Cheney thinks he is above the law and needs to be fully prosecuted to the fullest extent. Our forefathers and the American Taxpayers speak loudly for justice.

    July 12, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  10. chuck in tampa bay

    waterboard any and all agents that will not reveal all they know about
    this program.This program could have been what was done to cook evidence to take us to war in Iraq.
    I expect not to hear one more time about how Pelosi said she wasn't briefed.

    July 12, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  11. Dawn Ada, Ohio

    Where's Dick this weekend??? I don't see him beating down the doors of the MSM to be on Meet the Press, Weekend with George, or Face the Nation!!! My guess is tooooo much has come out for his liking and he will disappear just like he did during the eight years he was deceiving the American People. This time, however, we have the power to prosecute him and this needs to happen ASAP!!!

    July 12, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  12. S M R

    Time to block any flights out of the Country for this DOMESTIC TERRORIST.

    July 12, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  13. TOM

    How do conservatives justify such actions. This is the Soviet Union , the shah of Iran some banana republic not the US. This is what the republican party has done to our country. We are no longer above the rest we are as low as the lowest. As trite as it was at least Korea had trials for detainees. If you are worried about Socialism you had better start worrying about Republican Fascism.

    July 12, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  14. J Smith

    Dick Cheney should be in federal prison.

    July 12, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  15. Patrick, Lake Stevens, Washington

    Are we enlightened with the report given by Panetta? Most Americans believe that Cheney operated under the Cheney Law, not the law of justice.

    July 12, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  16. Ted

    Dick Cheney has always been the most devious and dangerous man the Republican party has. He was the actual president, pulling the strings on the puppet Bush for eight awful years. He is also the one that got the CIA to fix the intelligence that Iraq had WMD. He is an angry man. I just hope he is subpoenaed by The Hague for war crimes trials along with George Bush. Glad they are out of power. Obama is going to have to spend a lot of time repairing our country's diplomacy and pr in the world after Cheney and Bush trashed our reputation. Cheney is the worst of the worst.

    July 12, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  17. Brent Argue

    A problem with Dick Cheny, " no way " . : )

    I would hate to be this guy's conscience, oh I guess you need one first.

    July 12, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. Frankie

    I think if true the CIA should not be the punching bag here. The people who gave the orders, apparently think they are above the law and do not go through the checks and balances that are vital to a government that is our democracy. I don't care what administration it is.

    July 12, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. Greg

    arrest him. Sounds like he broke the law.

    July 12, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  20. dj

    Why would anyone want the congress or senate to know these things? They would probably share the secrets with their soul mates from foreign countries and then where would we be?

    July 12, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  21. Sarge in Florida

    And this comes as a surprise? Where is Hitler " MADCOW CHENEY" at now...Clench your chest Mr Cheney because the big one will come soon...Where is also your not so informed daughter Liz at? BTW why does she think that she knows what are in the CIA briefs? Did you tell her Top Secret information? If you did that falls under TREASON!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WAR CRIMES FOR YOU AND BUSH.....I want to live to see the day that you both are found GUILTY and sentenced to DEATH like Husain was.

    July 12, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  22. Texas

    Are we really surprise of what Cheney did. This is just one on many things he did that was wrong. What I would like to know...how many other so called Cheney orders are still out there? By far…Cheney was the worst and most untruthful VP in the history of this country.

    July 12, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  23. Alicia

    Senator Feinstein was on Faux News? WOW!

    July 12, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  24. Amazed

    He needs to go to jail to prevent future officials, regarless of their ranking, to break the law. With current burden on tax payers, removing his pace maker is a better alternative.

    July 12, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. Love My Country

    Why isn't he in jail already?

    July 12, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
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