Another secret program

Cheney's fingerprints are also on this one

The New York Times reports that the CIA created a post-9.11 counterterrorism program and that it had withheld information about the program from Congress. The Vice President allegedly ordered the CIA to keep Congress uninformed about the matter.

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.

This latest revelation directly follows an Inspector General's report which:

…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.

It is unsurprising, then, that "Efforts [The Times made] to reach Mr. Cheney through relatives and associates were unsuccessful." Why would he wish to take ownership of these legally dubious and ineffective programs!

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