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Jul-11-2009 20:22printcomments

Ties to Illegal Assasins?
Troubled Times for Cheney (VIDEO)

Sources reveal that Cheney was the only contact for federal assassins in a "counter-terrorism" operation that was withheld from Congress.

Courtesy: apolloalliance.org

(SALEM, Ore.) - Sparks are flying over strong accusations linking former Vice-President Dick Cheney, to a band of CIA assassins who worked without the knowledge of Congress - because Cheney told them to.

The intelligence agency executed the ultra-clandestine operation behind the backs of Congress for eight years under Bush. Its new director learned of the existence of the program and put an end to it late last month.

Leon Panetta, who assumed control of the Central Intelligence Agency as its 19th Director on February 13th 2009, halted the controversial program on June 23rd according to the LA Times, when he first learned of its existence. Four months passed before his subordinates brought it to his attention. After Panetta found out what was going on, he asked for special sessions with the House and Senate intelligence committees.

Details are slow in coming. The LA Times reported today that the main sources are declining to offer details at this point, on the nature of the program. They did reportedly say that the CIA launched an internal inquiry in recent days. They are looking at the history of the program, while examining the reasons senior officials found it necessary to withhold knowledge about, it from Congress.

Sources report that the secret government counter-terrorism operation was launched shortly after the 9/11 attacks, but never went fully operational.

One senior congressional aide told the LA Times, that the magnitude of the program and the decision to keep it secret isn't an issue that should be downplayed.

"Panetta found out about this for the first time and within 24 hours was in the office telling us," the aide said. "If this wasn't a big deal, why would the director of the CIA come sprinting up to the Hill like that?"

Relations have been strained in recent months between the CIA and Congress, especially since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the CIA of lying to Congress over waterboarding.

There is wiggle room for clandestine U.S. programs & operations that are considered to be extremely sensitive, but the bottom line according to law, is that the Central Intelligence Agency has to notify congressional committee members and make sure they are "kept fully and currently informed of the intelligence activities of the United States, including any significant anticipated intelligence activity."

One former U.S. intelligence official, Lt. Gen. Michael V. Hayden, told the LA Times that he "did not think they were constrained from informing Congress about the program, but regarded the activity as falling well short of the threshold for congressional notification."

Another official told reporters that they don't "run to the hill" every time they want permission to do something, which now seems quite obviously to be the case.

Hayden is among other officials who did know about the program that Congress was totally ignorant of. Others named include Deputy Director Stephen Kappes and Michael J. Sulick. It is reported that they were kept up to date regarding the counter-terrorism program's progress.

One bright spot of news that accompanies this news, is the House Intelligence Committee's approval of new legislation that will make it much more difficult for the executive branch to keep information like this from Congress.

President Obama did threaten to veto the legislation.


Special thanks to Greg Miller at the LA Times

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor.
Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), the first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several other awards including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website, affiliated with Google News and several other major search engines and news aggregators.
You can send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com

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PNWCC July 13, 2009 1:03 pm (Pacific time)

Wow, they were going to use special teams to infiltrate and capture or kill terrorists on the ground, on their home turf.
Great idea! This is war, people. Time to act like it.

Henry Ruark July 13, 2009 9:19 am (Pacific time)

F.Frank: Murder is murder,Frank, no matter how freewheeling it is made to appear. Fact of its being "cheaper" depends on what valuues one uses to measure its costs. Assasssination is murder of a public figure for political purposes. That in itself kills all possible pretense for any democratic justification, even if done by our own democracy. "Cheaper" is deluding, too, as historic examination surely shows: War I was triggered by one such, followed by War II as unavoidable follow-on. Does that seem "cheaper" now vs a possible, even probable, far better solution if time had prevailed to allow the always slow progress of wise change ? For Cheney situation we must then add the obvious fact of overriding illegality vs the Constitutional patterns set for each of the three branches our Founders established. IF found guilty of open full defiance via action indicated, there is only one word left for characterizing that action.

Jim Culley July 13, 2009 9:04 am (Pacific time)

Former CIA Director Michael V. Hayden angrily struck back Saturday at assertions that the Bush administration’s post-9/11 surveillance program was more far-reaching than imagined and was largely concealed from congressional overseers. In an interview with the Associated Press, Hayden said that top members of Congress were kept well informed all along the way, notwithstanding protests from some that they were kept in the dark. It is worth nothing that Michael Hayden, when appointed Director of the CIA, was a career military guy. He was not a Republican or Democrat partisan, unlike Leon Panetta, a long time Democrat partisan now in charge. In my opinion Panetta has decided to play political games at the behest of the Obama administration to distract Americans from current legislative policies. Remember, it was only a couple of months ago that an Obama administration official told David Broder of the Washington Post that Obama was suffering because Bush was not in the news any more. This is a way to get him back in the news as a distraction. How many Americans are going to get killed while the Obama administration plays games with our national security?

Seth July 12, 2009 10:25 pm (Pacific time)

To Henry-- I understand what you are saying. But there is something to be said about fact based dramatization. The left wing director of MISSING, Costa-Gavras, makes films that have a sort of docu-drama feel, basing them on actual incidents. That is the situation here involving the actual murder in Chile of a young American journalist during the CIA sponsored coup d'état in 1973.

freewheeling frank July 12, 2009 7:54 pm (Pacific time)

Only if you all could understand that it is cheeper than a war.Until Frank Church of Idaho stopped the practice, we would have been in at least 6 more wars.Just think if we would have let our people go ahead and took sadam out we wouldn't be in the middle east at all.And don't give the bull of not fair,our kids are worth more than any one man. These people are just insane ,our found father did not have this problem now did they.

Henry Ruark July 12, 2009 6:25 pm (Pacific time)

To all: ANY motion picture cited on political grounds is rapidly questionable simply because the mp-format demands not only simplification of content and close relation to emotional images, but also invariably surface treatment of material content due to time and cost constraints. This is true even for tv or other series, which is why good/stuff with serious content is scarce on tv as well as in film. Given CIA/FBI or other intel content, it is hard to imagine any film being solid, sensible hard-evidence, without full sacrifice of the values for which it was produced. To dramatize evidence content demands simplification as anyone knows who ever tried to prepare evidential preparation in either film or even slide-tape format. This is especially true of anything Hollywood ever made as entertainment, always and forever made for the money it might produce,with only casual attention to documentation value, which kills off any possible entertainment impact. That's what makes the format highly persuasive via its use of image-and-language while also highly vulnerable to easy manipulation for distortion purposes. That's why Nazi films even today have an authentic ring, until/unless subjected to real analysis by trained viewers. They were expert in these matters as detailed propaganda instruments. This is true for others who wish to employ similar easy distortion by powerful tool, powerfully used for perversion rather than simple persuasion. Many who know this cite a film or similar presentation fully aware that the content thus presented is distorted and malignly persuasive. But if purpose is malign, ethical presentation falls aside. Might even draw German curse-word...

Anonymous July 12, 2009 2:24 pm (Pacific time)

to add to my last post, now that obama is following the exact agenda that bush and clinton did, maybe now people will see that there is an elite group of people that only use the left/right paradigm to keep you debating over something that does not exist, wile they continue their agenda. How much more proof do you need???

Anonymous July 12, 2009 2:21 pm (Pacific time)

this new info, along with scientists finding nano-thermite in the dust at the world trade center (undisputed on a world wide scientist peer review website), makes those who question the governments version of 911 not so crazy after all ay??

Seth July 12, 2009 1:51 pm (Pacific time)

Daniel—Not everyone reads every article, and even if they did, what difference does it make what you wrote a month ago? And your statement is ALSO incorrect. In double parentheses is exactly what you wrote about South Vietnam and Chile. ((1963 South Vietnam, 1973 Chile)) I suspect most reasonable people would be puzzled about your apparent offense at my mentioning a movie depicting what occurred as a result of CIA actions, at the same time you bring up an obscure German term. Is this all a demonstration of your vaunted intellectual/reasoning abilities?

Henry Ruark July 12, 2009 12:58 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Here's another relevant observation from a prominent historian: "...the past is not a foreign country, but it is always one we've left for good." --Charles E. Maier, Harvard historian.

Henry Ruark July 12, 2009 12:04 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Cabal action to decimate any democracy depends desperately on what can only be called treason if that decimation does not succeed. This simple political fact of life is well expressed here: "Treason doth never prosper, what's the reason ? For if it prosper, none dare call it treason": Sir John Harrington, 1561-1612. Now that the first strings have been pulled from that huge twisted ball built by the Bushs --one was himself CIA potentate-- we may in time learn the truth. What is unmistakable now in differing world patterns and probabilities is that any simplistic reference to past historical events can only be misleading, distorting and even perverting without the comprehensive detail demanded for full understanding. To offer such is simply to pander politically vs those made guilty by past historic association. SO again, consider source and motivation for any comment or statements made here re this revealing situation (no pun !). It is sure to force still further Congressional tugs on the totally entangled tissue of lies we now know supported so much of secret intelligence ostensibly under democratic Congressional control, surely Constitutionally demanded. The Founders found they were forced to provide a tripartite form of governance for good reason, with each offsetting the others as precisely demonstrated here by failure of both Legislative and Judicial to prevent the near neocon-driven destruction of our democracy. That final stage is surely demonstrated by initiation of a one-guru/controlled multiple assassination program, if that is what will become entirely visible here in time to come. Its starting phase is always for exterior "enemies of the state", then seductively moves into too-easy, too-rapid use vs dissenters, at any level, in any form or channel.

Daniel Johnson July 11, 2009 10:44 pm (Pacific time)

Seth: Most of what you put in your comment was covered in more detail in my June 18 piece "Iran, 1953" http://www.salem-news.com/articles/june182009/iran_1953_6-18-09.php Anyone who wants a movie review would be better served to go to www.IMDB.com

Daniel Johnson July 11, 2009 11:09 pm (Pacific time)

There's a German word: backpfeifengesicht which means "a face that cries out for a fist in it." Cheney, GW Bush, Stephen Harper (Canadian PM)...I could go on.

Seth July 11, 2009 10:00 pm (Pacific time)

It is a positive sign that the Obama administration has terminated the program initiated under Bush/Cheney. It is unfortunate that Obama is now threatening to veto legislation that would theoretically limit such actions because of disclosure. The United States has a long and unfortunate history in interfering with foreign countries governments. The following are amongst a very few: In 1953, to protect the oil industry, the CIA initiated the overthrow of a democratically elected president of Iran, effectively reestablishing an oppressive, but pro-Western government, which was itself overthrown in 1979, establishing a virulently anti-American regime. Recently it appears that this religious theocracy/government is now rigging elections to protect its power. We were allies with the Republic of South Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s. Upon hearing that a coup d'etat was being designed by South Vietnamese generals, the United States gave secret assurances to the generals that the U.S. would not interfere. On orders from U.S. President John F. Kennedy, Henry Cabot Lodge, the American ambassador to South Vietnam, refused to meet with Diem. This was another go-ahead sign. The conspirators overthrew the government on November 1, 1963. Pres. Diem and his brother were assassinated shortly thereafter. Ironically, upon learning of Diem's ouster and death, North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh is reported to have said, "I can scarcely believe the Americans would be so stupid." The North Vietnamese Politburo was more explicit, predicting: "The consequences of the 1 November coup d'état will be contrary to the calculations of the U.S. imperialists ... Diem was one of the strongest individuals resisting the people and Communism. Everything that could be done in an attempt to crush the revolution was carried out by Diem. Diem was one of the most competent lackeys of the U.S. imperialists. Socialist Salvador Allende won the 1970 Chilean presidential election as leader of the Unidad Popular ("Popular Unity") coalition. He served as the President of Chile from November 4, 1970 until Pres. Nixon utilized the CIA to back the September 11, 1973 coup d'état that ended his democratically elected Popular Unity government. His supporters presumed that he was killed by the forces staging the coup. In recent years, however, the view that he committed suicide has become accepted, particularly as different testimonies confirm details of the suicide reported in news and documentary interviews. His personal doctor ruled the death a suicide, and his family accepts the finding. Missing, a 1982 film directed by Costa Gavras, starring Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, Melanie Mayron, John Shea and Charles Cioffi. It is based on the true story of American journalist Charles Horman, who disappeared in the bloody aftermath of the coup. See Wikipedia for more details.

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