This story in the NY Times may prove to be a real problem for the Bush-Cheney crowd. It sounds like they have hard evidence that Vice President Dick Cheney ordered CIA officials to lie to Congress about the existence and implementation of CIA programs.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Apparently, there was a program, the details of which are still secret except the relevant committees in Congress, that Cheney ordered CIA briefers to conceal and lie about. As a result the committees in Congress that were responsible for overseeing CIA activities were unaware of what the CIA was doing in this program. I've heard rumors/stories on the radio, that this may be a reference to an illegal assassination program whereby CIA teams would travel to foreign countries and assassinate people on their target list. Assassination has been illegal for the CIA since the early 1970s when Congress reacted to CIA abuses in the 50s and 60s.
According to the story, Obama's CIA Director, Leon Panetta, ordered the program shut down as soon as he heard about. Elections have consequences!
Remember a few months ago when Pelosi claimed that the CIA had been lying to Congress - especially the Democrats for years? At the time, Republicans threw a hissy fit about how she was undermining the morale of the CIA and how dare this San Francisco "librul" impugn the honor of these heroes. Well, it turns out she was right all along and - no surprise - it was Cheney who was undermining morale and impugning the honor of the CIA.
I have no idea where this will lead formally. Clearly, has this come out during the Bush administration's time in office, it would be grounds for impeaching the whole lot of them. I suspect that Cheney, at the very least, could be charged with "Contempt of Congress" and possibly a number of federal laws against falsifying or tampering with government reports etc. LTG will probably have a better idea of his legal liabilities here.
Politically, this vindicates Pelosi to some extent. That probably won't help Pelosi's numbers but it probably will hurt the reputation of those Republicans who have been using her as a punching bag - at least among independents.
Posted by Raised By Republicans at 4:26 PM