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 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.
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.
Recall that Seymour Hersh was the guy who reported on Cheney's death squads, commanded by Stanley McChrystal, that allegedly took out Benazir Bhutto and the Lebanese prime minister and so on and so on. Obviously that's not information Cheney would want Congress to find out about directly from the CIA.
What would the Republicans in Congress do if the Justice Department chose to prosecute the former veep? Oh, right ...