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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/07/11/cheney.surveillance/art.cheney.gi.jpg caption="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. Love My Country

    Why isn't he in jail already?

    July 12, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. Sick -n- Tired

    I wish the Democrats would finally "grow a pair" and do something about Cheney once and for all. The Justice Dept. needs to step up as well. Instead of focusing all of their attention on locking people up because they got caught smoking a joint, how about we focus on the real criminals! The fact that Cheney and Bush are still free to do as they choose after all they have done is absolutely astounding! It's no wonder the rest of the world no longer respects America as much as they once did! This country has proven itself time and again to be one of hypocracy and double standards, and until that changes nothing will change anytime soon!

    July 12, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. annie s

    Not much that Dick Cheney did is "acceptable". The Bush/Cheney administration MUST be held accountable for their arrogance, abuse of power and possible crimes.

    July 12, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. John, Brooklyn, New York

    This is more than simply a scandel. This may very well be a serious violation of the law and, even more, a violation of the Vice President to "uphold and defend the constitution." Why hasn't Feinstein and her colleagues called on President Obama to authorize a special prosecutor to investigate whether federal laws were broken...and by whom!?

    July 12, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
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