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."

Full story

soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. Marie

    Cheney is a war criminal.God forbid if any of our men and women are captured in foriegn countries and are water boarded and at best they can say it's interrogation and say didn't you know that ?it's what the United States call it.Cheney for eight years have kept so many secrets in the dark as he did himselfelf until a few months ago and that was only to criticize what Obama was doing and keep the american people from finding his skeletons with ashes of lies and deceit.Well as the old saying goes..What's done in the dark comes out in the light..so people stay tune because it's more to come but those who support this crimal might not like what shines through the light

    July 13, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  2. Mark

    These are distractions the Obama administration thrives upon. Now, the public may be less apt to realize that taxes and unemployment are both rising at an alarming rate.

    July 13, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  3. Marie

    Cheney is a war criminal.God forbid if any of our men and women are captured in foriegn countries and are water boarded and at best they can say it's interrogation and say didn't you know that ?it's what the United States call it.Cheney for eight years have kept so many secrets in the dark as he did himself until a few months ago and that was only to criticize what Obama was doing and keep the american people from finding his skeletons with ashes of lies and deceit.Well as the old saying goes..What's done in the dark comes out in the light..so people stay tune because it's more to come but those who support this crimal might not like what shines through the light

    July 13, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  4. Jane

    What a shame. They are trying to protect Nancy Polosi, what else? As long as he (they) can blame Bush they do not have to take responsibility. In four years he will blame Bush (Obama will) when he loses the election because he could not get his act together.

    July 13, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  5. Bpin

    Blame it on Bush. Blame it on Bush. Four years from now we will continue to hear this. Look, Bush was a joke for a President, but he is gone!! Obama is going to have to move on. If there needs to be investigations and charges filed, turn it over to the Justice Department and let them do their job. Obama has nothing to do with this. It is time to stop hearing Bush's name! You would think the guy is still in office. Geez!!

    July 13, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  6. rickymo

    This may be true but we can't go forwaard without making sure that what happened in the past was morally and legally just.

    July 13, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  7. Obama is a Disaster

    These "distractions" are pumped up by the Obama administration itself – to distract from Obama's ineptitude.

    July 13, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  8. Nero

    Mr President,
    It's your call to get yourself caught up in this mess. You don't have to back in time to uncover George Bush and Dick Cheney's mess. Leave them to time and their dirty laundry will be exposed with out you wasting time and effort.

    Every American knows how bad they ran things and of course; you are not a Republican. As a DEM you don't carry a big stick nor believe in vendetta.

    July 13, 2009 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  9. ib

    This is another absurd attempt by the far left to cover Obama's and especially Peloski's butt and that is all it is. Obama is failing as a president; unemployment is still rising; he had spent this country into being a past country and inflation will overtake us all. This should be stopped and stopped now and get back to putting the economy on the front page period.

    July 13, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  10. annie for Palin

    How long is obama going to keep blaming bush for his own stupidity and inabilities? This wishy washy cry baby is about to destroy our country not bush but the cry baby obama.

    July 13, 2009 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  11. LC in CA

    How sad that this gifted man has to continue to wade through the corrupt muck left over from the previous administration. Bush put us so far in debt with his "war" it's a wonder we even still have an economy.

    Keep on trucking, Mr. President. I'm definitely on your side.

    July 13, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  12. Steve, Columbia SC

    You're the president now, DEAL WITH IT AND STOP WHINING.

    July 13, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  13. Cheney The Devil

    This man is a liar and I hope he's exposed for who the liar he is.Bush was never president he was.Just look at this man's face and you can see that he doesn't take orders without something in return.He lucked up without this country not being attacked on his watch not because he kept us safe.And with each day that goes by we should worry that because of this evil man we can be assured because of his stamp of approval to foriegn countries it is a gurantee that we will be attacked.He makes these tv interviews and at the same time he has the blood of so many americans on his hands that was killed in a war that should have never been and I say Cheney and not Bush because Cheney was the mastermind going into this sham of a war Bush was only his puppet to tell the american people that we were going to war.I would like to see Cheney water boarded and see if it works the way he claims it works perhaps we can finally expose him for the liar he is

    July 13, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  14. jaye

    The bush era nearly destroyed our country...and to see cheney and the other republican nitwits trying to divert attention away from their horrible reign is just plain wrong. And to make it worse we have CNN (the only decent news organization on the planet) allow these republicans free access and a podium to spread their hate and lies and diversions.
    Come on CNN – get rid of Mary Maitlin, Bill Bennett, and the rest of the republicans that have an agenda to do further harm to our country by demonizing president Obama. Those people need to just shut up!!!

    July 13, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  15. Doug Neumann

    Obama has alot more than that "weighing down" is agenda. As someone who voted for him and gave him a chance, I am coming to regret that decision more and more every day. I don't know at this point if I will be willing to vote for him for a second term, at this point I don't know if he deserves it. I am extremely disappointed in his decisions and his presidency so far...

    July 13, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  16. European-American

    Bush era distractions is just what the doctor ordered. Who is the Obama administration trying to kid?

    July 13, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  17. Mike Vaughn

    The Biggest weigh down is the GOP who were part of the Bush Era and caused this mess but are too STUPID TO REMEMBER THEY DID THIS AND KEEP TRYING TO BLAME OBAMA FOR THEIR MESS

    July 13, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  18. FEMALES FOR FEMALES

    What agenda other than plunging us further and further into the Republican debt quigmire. You don't get out of debt by going further into debt. Any financier and plumber will tell you you have top the leakage before the pipes can be tightened.

    July 13, 2009 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  19. Legna

    There is no CIA controversy. Only bad fiscal policies as well as foreign policies that are not working. Trying to create issues to mis-direct the needed focus is PATHETIC strategy. CIA has only tried to protect USA for many years. You idiots in Washington need to get this economy running and stop wasting time we don't have.

    July 13, 2009 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  20. Chris

    Excuses, excuses.......

    July 13, 2009 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  21. Nobama

    Obama is such a con artist!His economic policies are failing,his poll numbers are falling.So what does he do?Why,he goes after his favorite punching bag-Dick Cheney!Instead of admitting that he was wrong about the stimulus (like Joe Biden,his own vp did) he distracts the public with this latest sideshow!And knowing liberal america like I do,they're gonna be dumb enough to fall for it!

    July 13, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  22. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    THAT'S THE PLAN! Whenever there is bad economic news or his poll numbers go down, Obama's surrogates start talking about Bush and Cheney in order to distract the media and the public. It's exactly what Obama wants!!

    Obama and the rest of the democrats want there to be diversions from his domestic agenda because they know it will be a failure. This way, instead of taking action and trying to make good on his unrealistic campaign promises, he can just sit on his hands, live like a king, and blame Bush and Cheney for four years of inaction. The democrats know exactly what they are doing. They create diversions and then complain about all the diversions.

    July 13, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  23. todd

    then maybe he and his administration should stop trying to look back and destroy the people that kept this country safe for 8 years, thus allowing for his historic election! MOVE ON!

    July 13, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  24. johnnie

    (cnn)there is nothing going to stop the presidents (agenda) (cnn) needs to worry alot about your (gop agenda) david gergen is a lost soul, and lives in the passed, do you think the president is scared of dick cheney and your (gop). gergen is wrong every time he opens his mouth about the president,and he is getting worse,with those clown remarks.i got news for you gergen ,nobody is paying attention to anything you say period. you and the gop ,cant get over that fact, that the president is more smarter than all of you combined. cheney came out bashing the president every day , since he took power. now the time has come for cheney to go into hiding, because he knows whats coming,judgement day. gergen is so jealous of president obama.he knows ,the president is going to continue to clean house of (gop). he looks silly ,everyday with the off the wall remarks. the gop is in the pit of fools. and gergen is their crusader and chief.(gergen be quiet)

    July 13, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  25. Gary

    President Obama needs to focus on how to fix the economy, how to win the war on terror, how to keep us safe, how to make us energy independent.

    He needs to stop blaming Bush and Cheney (for the economy, war)
    He needs to stop insulting Bush and Cheney
    He needs to stop insinuating and investigating Bush/Cheney

    If Obama would look forward and stop looking back, stop the blame game, everything would go better. We aren't buying his excuses.

    Same with Nancy Pelosi – - solve problems, look forward, stop blaming, stop the politics!!!!

    July 13, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
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