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Eshoo calls for probe of covert CIA program

Original post made on Jul 10, 2009

U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Menlo Park, Thursday called for an investigation of a covert CIA program that she said ran from 2001 to June 2009 without Congressional knowledge. She denied that her request for a public correction from CIA Director Leon Panetta was an effort to vindicate her close friend House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, July 9, 2009, 4:47 PM

Comments (5)

Posted by Rustupid, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 10, 2009 at 12:31 pm

When will our weak congressmen, in this case Eshoo, quit attempting to disclose classified information as a means to show deception based on a reluctance to divulge information sensitive to national security. I for one am tired of them not fessing up for their own mistakes. Pelosi was wrong, just admit it and stop the validation fabrications. Can we please allow the secret side of intelligence agencies to remain just that, secret. Its more important to our country than their game of political expediency.


Posted by Not sooo fast, there!, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 10, 2009 at 2:10 pm

While I'd admit that this appears to be being used to political advantage by both parties; I do not agree with your characterizations of Rep. Eshoo's intent. I believe that it is highly critical that the government's security functions are overseen and don't go off on their own unsupervised activities. I think that is all her original letter (classified at the time) said, "Hey what's this about a secret (from Congressional oversight) program; Come and tell us." (I assume it will be in a closed-door meeting).

If you really believe in Freedom, you've got to also believe in responsible oversight.

I think she's right on target. No More Ollie Norths, doing Whatever (TF) they they want!


Posted by free, a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Jul 10, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Agreed we have wonderfully dedicated people keeping us free. We are also a nation of LAWS. Those who break those laws and do who do not disclose the powers they are taking unto themselves illegally should be brought out into the open.

As far as I know we have never authorized a secret police in this country, though it seems in recent years the term "national defense" has become the defense used for how things have been turned upside down for our own protection. Oh, wait, I guess the Patriot Act did give them the right to suspend just about every constitutional right you can think of if they say they have some reason .... that they can't tell anyone of course.

Ollie North is a national hero to some. His boss, Mr. Poindexter who we found guilty (no?) was almost handed the keys to all our personal information for data mining. Sorry, some powers are just a bit too much to hand over to those without any sort of oversight especially a good old friend from a previous administration. (Not that they didn't go ahead with that program anyway for our own good of course.)


Posted by SCOTT SHANE, a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Cheney Is Linked to Concealment of C.I.A. Project

By SCOTT SHANE

July 12, 2009

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…

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…

It would appear that the Democrats leaked this secret program to the New York Times in record time:

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.

And less than two weeks later this information shows up on the front page of the New York Times. What a triumph for all involved.

Oh, and never mind that this secret counter terrorism program never even was implemented. We must warn the terrorists, just in case. And we must excoriate those who were trying to protect us.

Hopefully the miscreants like Mr. Cheney will end up behind bars – for doing their jobs.

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."

That this article is in the New York Times would seem to prove that briefing Congress would not be consistent with protecting this information from unauthorized disclosure.

But never mind all of that. This entire non-story is just the latest in a series meant to cover for Nancy Pelosi's egregious lies.

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.

This is why this non-story was leaked in the first place.


Posted by Anne Nesty, a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Jul 14, 2009 at 11:01 am

I wish I could say that I was shocked by this story, but this is exactly the kind of vile illegal activiy I've come to expect from Dick Cheney.


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