Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

French government, employers and unions begin final discussions on labour reforms

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Here are six costly failures from America’s longest war. No. 1: cashmere goats'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Charter of transparency…but no official ‘first lady’ title for Brigitte Macron

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Nigeria's Buhari slams divisions after a 3-month absence

Read more

THE DEBATE

What's next for the "Islamic State Group"?

Read more

ENCORE!

Opera singers Thomas Hampson & Luca Pisaroni return to Paris

Read more

FOCUS

Hunger has forced many Nigerian refugees in northern Cameroon to return to dangerous Boko Haram territory.

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US investigating China's intellectual property policy

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Bonnie Tyler to sing 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' during total solar eclipse

Read more

Cheney told CIA to hide counter-terrorism programme, report claims

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-13

The New York Times reported on Saturday that former US Vice President Dick Cheney instructed the CIA to withhold information about a secret counter-terrorism programme from Congress for eight years.

REUTERS - The CIA withheld information about a secret counter-terrorism program from Congress for eight years on orders from former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, the New York Times said on Saturday.

 

Citing two unidentified sources, the newspaper said Central Intelligence Agency Director Leon Panetta disclosed Cheney’s involvement in closed briefings to congressional intelligence committees late last month.

 

Panetta, who was named to head the agency earlier this year by President Barack Obama, ended the program, which remains secret, when he first learned of its existence from subordinates on June 23, the Times said.

 

Intelligence and congressional officials told the newspaper the agency began the program after the Sept. 11 attacks and said it never became operational and did not involve CIA interrogation programs or domestic intelligence activities.

 

The newspaper said its efforts to reach Cheney through relatives and associates were unsuccessful.

 

Asked about the Times report, CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said it was not the agency’s practice to discuss classified briefings.

 

“When a CIA unit brought this matter to Director Panetta’s attention, it was with the recommendation that it be shared appropriately with Congress. That was also his view, and he took swift, decisive action to put it into effect,” Gimigliano said, declining to comment further.

 

Cheney was a key advocate in the Bush administration of using controversial interrogation methods such as waterboarding on terrorism suspects and has emerged as a leading Republican critic of Obama’s national security policies.

 

Panetta has vowed not to allow coercive interrogation practices, secret prisons or the transfer of terrorist suspects to countries that may use torture, a pledge seen as a break with the agency’s policies under President George W. Bush.

 

Critics of the agency, however, want it to be more forthcoming about its secret programs.

 

Fears the CIA withheld key information from Congress were rekindled in May when House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, accused the agency of failing to reveal in 2002 that it was waterboarding a terrorism suspect.

 

Panetta has rejected the Democratic speaker’s accusation.

 

U.S. law requires the president to make sure intelligence committees are kept fully informed of intelligence activities, including any significant anticipated intelligence activity.

 

But the government has some leeway in disclosing such information.
 

Date created : 2009-07-12

COMMENT(S)