July 17th, 2009
03:58 PM ET
9 years ago

House committee to probe secret CIA program

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The House Intelligence Committee will investigate whether any laws were broken when the CIA concealed a now-canceled counterterrorism program from Congress, the panel's chairman announced Friday.

Among the things the committee will look into is "whether there was any past decision or direction to withhold information from the committee," Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, said in a statement announcing the probe.

"I intend to make this investigation fair and thorough, and it is my goal that it will not become a distraction to the men and women of the CIA," he said.

"However, in order to assist them fully and keep them well-resourced, it is the responsibility of the executive branch to ensure that the committee is kept fully and currently informed of all significant anticipated intelligence activities."

CIA Director Leon Panetta told a congressional committee in June that he was told former Vice President Dick Cheney ordered the intelligence agency to withhold information about the secret program from Congress. Panetta terminated the program when he found out about it last month. The spy agency said Thursday that the program was never put into full effect and played no significant role in the battle against al Qaeda and other violent extremists.

Filed under: CIA
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    A complete investigation needs to be done and a special prosecutor needs to be appointed. Dick Cheney broke the law. There's no getting around it. The National Security Act is very specific about informing to congress whether the progra was operational or not.

    July 17, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  2. Larry

    I can't wait to see what comes out of this.

    July 17, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. New Yorker

    It figures; anything to try to get the focus off the presidents lame brain health care bill and other detrimental plans for this country. No one did anything illegal but we'll spend plenty of time and money trying to drum something up.
    Cheney is a patriot; get off his back.

    July 17, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  4. Proud Member..Party of No

    1) The plan was a great idea and should have been pursued with enthusiasm.
    2) I wouldn't tell those traitorous democrats in congress anything that has national security implications either.

    July 17, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  5. S M R

    Take all the GOP terrorists down. Our forefathers and the American people deserve redemption from these fools.

    July 17, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  6. Deborah

    Good! Maybe the Cheneys will finally shut up for awhile.

    July 17, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. Maria - Proud Democrat

    Good for them!

    I would also like them to investigate Speaker Pelosi's statement and let's find out once and for all if she knew that Water boarding was being used.

    Let's get the whole truth out........

    July 17, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    @ New Yorker who said "No one did anything illegal"

    My fellow NY brethren, Cheney BROKE THE LAW. The National Security Act is clear. The program that Cheney put togeher was ANTICIPATED to be implemented. Therefore, Congress must be informed. HE BROKE THE LAW.

    July 17, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. Rick in OP

    This is the latest attempt by the Democrats to dismantle the intelligence gathering capability of the United States. They are following the same playbook that Jimmy Carter did in the 1970’s…. and it took decades to repair the damage he did to the CIA.

    July 17, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. Jen

    Oh oh. I wouldn't fly if I were a Dem. They'll do you like they did Senator Wellstone. Probably a victim of Cheney's Executive Assasination Squad.

    July 17, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  11. The Shrooming Liberal

    Throw him in prison! General population too!

    July 17, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  12. Mott

    Apparently "Proud..." wouldn't abide by the law, either.
    Typical republicon.

    July 17, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. dan

    i would like to meet someone who thinks killing al qaeda leaders is a bad idea. of course they would want to keep it from dems who would tell the new york times so they could warn the terrorists.

    July 17, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. GI Joe

    Gee – the Dems might "leak" something --

    Like they "outed" Valerie Plame

    Oh......... wait ......... never mind.

    July 17, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  15. The Shrooming Liberal

    Tonight on NatGeo Channel! Presidents in lock down! Join us as we go inside Leavenworth and get inside the heads of the notorious prison gang the Halliburton Homies started by former VP Dick Cheney!

    July 17, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  16. Rick in OP

    Have you ever noticed the cities reported to be on the list of potential terrorist targets (New York, Boston, Chicago, Seattle) are all BLUE cities located in BLUE states. The sad irony is that the people who want Dick Cheney (and others) prosecuted may live in cities where attacks may have been prevented, and these very same people may be alive now only for actions that were taken to protect them.

    July 17, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  17. Jim

    @ New Yorker

    Cheney is a patriot???? Same Cheney who took 5 deferrments and did not fight for his country when he had the opportunity! Same guy who put other kids in harsm way. You are an idiot!

    July 17, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  18. Commen sense rules

    @ Dutch.....Get over Bush and Cheney. Obama has broken many laws in six months. Why aren't you saying the same about him? Gerald Walpin.

    July 17, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  19. phoenix86


    Lucky for America that you are not an elected official. Anticipating doing anything is not a crime in America. You're boy Obama hasn't been in office long enough to implement Orwellian Thought Police. Just give him a little more time and continue your support of that type of criminalization.

    July 17, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  20. Al-NY,NY

    If a democrat had pulled this, the GOP would be screaming bloody murder about circumventing law. But since it's a Republican, it's ok. Sounds a little like.....Newt/Ensign/Sanford/Craig/etc. Hypocrisy, thy name is Republicans

    July 17, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  21. yuri

    We guess it's about time CIA got another head-to-toe overhaul, and encourage it to shed some of its archaic rules.

    July 17, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  22. phoenix86

    GI Joe,

    Valerie Plame was never in a position with the CIA where she could be "outed". You bought the liberal spin without checking the facts.

    July 17, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  23. tom

    How clueless can you people be? This is not about terrorism it is about Cheney's blatant disregard of our laws and the constitution. Suppose his plan was to assinate Tony Blair so he wouldn't tell the truth. How about if he killed Korea's leader and they linked it to us? We would be having WW III right now.Believe it or not all Americans are against terrorists and that includes Cheney's usurping of our rights. If you want your civil rights and privacy taken away keep supporting the GOP.

    July 17, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  24. Sammy

    There were four senior republicans who were supposed to know about the program in addition to democrats. This was hidden from them as well. That is unless they were told about it in back rooms so the democrats wouldnt know.

    Or perhaps its true that Cheney didnt trust anybody in congress regardless of which party they belonged to. Is it no wonder that in the last year congress told him to take a hike when he tried to push his way into their business?

    July 17, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  25. Fla.

    Rick OP,

    Are you serious? You would actually condone ILLEGAL activity for the sake of a Republican Party?? Unbelievable, yet sadly unsurprising.

    Congress has the responsibility to ensure proper oversight, which was surely lacking under Cheney's secret/illegal operations.

    July 17, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
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