July 13th, 2009
06:16 PM ET
5 years ago

Bush-era distractions may weigh down Obama's agenda

President Obama is tackling a large domestic agenda at the same time as a new CIA controversy begins to brew.
President Obama is tackling a large domestic agenda at the same time as a new CIA controversy begins to brew.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - As President Obama tries pressing ahead with his domestic agenda focused on health care and energy reform, several potential investigations threaten to steal the focus in Washington.

The most recent controversy: The revelation that Central Intelligence Agency Director Leon Panetta told House and Senate intelligence committees that former Vice President Dick Cheney ordered the spy agency to keep Congress in the dark for eight years about a still-secret counterterrorism program.

The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who confirmed she learned of the former vice president's order during a recent closed-door briefing by Panetta, expressed outrage.

"That's something that should never, ever happen again," Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-California, said on Fox News Sunday. "I think this is a problem, obviously."

A knowledgeable source familiar with the matter said the counterterrorism program in question was initiated shortly after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington. The program, the source notes, was on-again, off-again and was never fully operational. Panetta has since put an end to the program, according to the source.

Efforts to contact Cheney for reaction were unsuccessful. CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano has declined to comment on the report.

David Gergen, CNN senior political analyst, says that while this is the last thing the Obama administration wants to deal with, it's "starting to mushroom into a life form of its own."

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soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. Disappointed

    We are getting way off course! I am deeply disappointed with the lack of focus on our depleted economy and precious funds are being used to fight needless causes. We have so much bickering and fighting going on with investigations. We are opening ourselves up before the world for ridicule and mockery. The more money that is spent on needless investigations that go no where is money that could be spent to help get our economy on track.

    July 13, 2009 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  2. JD

    At some point in the next 3.5 years, B.O. is going to have to start taking responsibility for something.

    July 13, 2009 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  3. airdoc

    The "Bush-era distractions" only keep coming up because the democrats keep leaking secrets or other irrelevent items to distract the people from theailure of the stimulus package.

    July 13, 2009 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  4. Watermelon=Obama

    I wish Bush would have been able to stay on for another term but have sarah palin as his VP.

    July 14, 2009 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
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