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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Is anyone actually surprised by this?
Posted by Jill | 8:20 AM
This is supposed to be Big!! Breaking!!! News!!!!!??? My reaction to this is a Cheneyesque "So?"

Why is anyone surprised by this:
The Central Intelligence Agency withheld information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress for eight years on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney, the agency’s director, Leon E. Panetta, has told the Senate and House intelligence committees, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said Saturday.

The report that Mr. Cheney was behind the decision to conceal the still-unidentified program from Congress deepened the mystery surrounding it, suggesting that the Bush administration had put a high priority on the program and its secrecy.

Mr. Panetta, who ended the program when he first learned of its existence from subordinates on June 23, briefed the two intelligence committees about it in separate closed sessions the next day.

Efforts to reach Mr. Cheney through relatives and associates were unsuccessful.

The question of how completely the C.I.A. informed Congress about sensitive programs has been hotly disputed by Democrats and Republicans since May, when Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the agency of failing to reveal in 2002 that it was waterboarding a terrorism suspect, a claim Mr. Panetta rejected.

The law requires the president to make sure the intelligence committees “are kept fully and currently informed of the intelligence activities of the United States, including any significant anticipated intelligence activity.” But the language of the statute, the amended National Security Act of 1947, leaves some leeway for judgment, saying such briefings should be done “to the extent consistent with due regard for the protection from unauthorized disclosure of classified information relating to sensitive intelligence sources and methods or other exceptionally sensitive matters.”

In addition, for covert action programs, a particularly secret category in which the role of the United States is hidden, the law says that briefings can be limited to the so-called Gang of Eight, consisting of the Republican and Democratic leaders of both houses of Congress and of their intelligence committees.

The disclosure about Mr. Cheney’s role in the unidentified C.I.A. program comes a day after an inspector general’s report underscored the central role of the former vice president’s office in restricting to a small circle of officials knowledge of the National Security Agency’s program of eavesdropping without warrants, a degree of secrecy that the report concluded had hurt the effectiveness of the counterterrorism surveillance effort.

Newsweek reported yesterday in a profile of Eric Holder that the Attorney General is considering appointing a prosecutor to investigate the Bush Administration's torture activities. That doesn't have me as excited as it does some of my compatriots, because the Justice Department is still lousy with Bush appointees, and I suspect any "investigation" will end in a proclamation of "bad activities done out of goodwill for our nation" and nothing will be done.

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3 Comments:
Blogger Melina said...
not surprised, not excited, but its another brick in the wall....look, maybe history will have to decide this, but at a point the evidence on record is so overwhelming that the justice dept and the Obama administration risks being dragged down with it....so, maybe we wont get the big trials and Johnny Cochran with the glove, but at least, for god's sake, get it on the record....
If this government wants "for what I perceived as the good of all" to be a viable defense to override real laws, then we are walking down a very thin line here....

So, thought Im not surprised, I want to see this reported all over...today Sam Donaldson smirked and said "if its even true"...as if the reporter made it up! Then we get McCain on Palin!!

On the other hand, the local news is reporting this, so every mom making dinner for her family last night heard something about this through the din.

I think that a tipping point is gonna be reached. Will we see Cheney and Bush in jail? no...probably not...will it get on the record as WRONG?...I sure as hell hope so. Otherwise, I have to think about if I want to even be a part of trying to fix this system.
Its just too dirty.

Blogger Suzan said...
You're both right.

But Melina, I fear is more correct.

Unless we get the Goldman Sachs' bubble criminality outed for public trials, the other stuff (as prolly Cheney and Bush banked on) is chicken feed (for chickens!).

Of course they thought they could invade Iraq, Afghanistan, et al., until the cows came home as no one (proven by all the non-outrage-inducing financial chicanery) seemed to mind (and most (on both sides!) lustily cheered on the murderers).

Rock on (for justice)!

S

Otherwise, I have to think about if I want to even be a part of trying to fix this system.
Its just too dirty.

Blogger Barry said...
>My reaction to this is a Cheneyesque "So?"

Yeah, mine too.