UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

July 10, 2009

PANETTA KILLS 8 YEAR OLD SECRET PROGRAM

Politico - The ongoing tussle between Congress and the CIA deepened Friday as a congresswoman said that CIA Director Leon Panetta had killed an eight-year-long covert spy program that had operated without the knowledge of Congress. . .

WAS THIS IT?

Sam Stein, Huffington Post - The revelation from seven Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee that they were misled about a critical CIA program has sparked a debate that touches on the most sensitive areas of national security policy. What program, exactly, was being kept secret? No one is answering the question, citing the sensitivities that come when discussing classified intelligence matters. But in various conversations with sources on and off the Hill, two general theories have emerged. The first is that the CIA was keeping quiet about the use of waterboarding on terrorist . . .

Another theory being bandied about concerns an "executive assassination ring" that was allegedly set up and answered to former Vice President Dick Cheney. The New Yorker's Seymour Hersh, building off earlier reporting from the New York Times, dropped news of the possibility that such a ring existed in a March 2009 discussion sponsored by the University of Minnesota [and reported in the Review - TPR]

"It is a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently," Hersh said. "They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office. They did not report to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff or to Mr. [Robert] Gates, the secretary of defense. They reported directly to him. ...

"Congress has no oversight of it," he added. "It's an executive assassination ring essentially, and it's been going on and on and on. Just today in the Times there was a story that its leaders, a three star admiral named [William H.] McRaven, ordered a stop to it because there were so many collateral deaths. Under President Bush's authority, they've been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. That's been going on, in the name of all of us."


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