• Glad we agree on that Mike, your cut and paste from NPR written by Mary Louise Kelly is just her opinion, all well and good as far as it goes.

    Since Robert Gates has been the secretary of defense since December 18, 2006, he has been privy to the daily intelligence briefings since that time.

    IMO, Mr. Gates has known as much about any CIA "proposed" or "implemented" project as anyone has since his appointment.

    All that being said, I tend to agree with Alton, a investigation will take lots of time and taxpayer money and at the investigations conclusion, only a select few will ever know what really happened, and they most likely know already.

    July 16, 2009 at 5:59 p.m.

  • Legion357
    Were on the same page because I never said I wanted the entire Congress to be briefed by the CIA….. I would prefer for it to be behind closed doors and for the players to be subpoenaed and under oath. The general public does not need to know the results but we need some kind of structure because we have 17 intelligent gatherers.

    From what I’ve heard through the media, this program was close to be so secret that the CIA station managers and the American ambassadors in the targeted country would not know of their existence…. That would put those carrying out the orders in danger of being killed by our own people.

    As for the 1947 act requiring his CIA to go through Congress, I got that from congressional members and former CIA agents that were being interviewed.

    This is a cut and paste from NPR.

    "It's actually not 100% clear. The law that governs this is called the National Security Act of 1947 and it's been amended many times since then, but the relevant portion is this: 'Congress must be notified about all significant intelligence activities; also' - and this is important - 'all significant, anticipated intelligence activities.' So the question becomes What is significant?, Who gets to decide?, and clearly in the case of this particular program, people came out with very different views about whether it met the standard."

    BTW the 1947 Act does not have a punishment clause, which is the reason I want those involved to be under oath…. They need to take the politics out of it; use it to be a fact finding, so we can strengthen our intelligence forces.

    July 16, 2009 at 11:01 a.m.

  • Re: 2004

    Currently, the Central Intelligence Agency reports to the Director of National Intelligence. Prior to the establishment of the DNI, the CIA reported to the President, with informational briefings to congressional committees. The National Security Advisor is a permanent member of the National Security Council, responsible for briefing the President with pertinent information collected by all U.S. intelligence agencies, including the National Security Agency, the Drug Enforcement Administration, etc. All 16 Intelligence Community agencies are under the authority of the Director of National Intelligence.

    Note the with informational briefings to congressional committees.

    For information purposes only, IMO, a proposed action, never implemented, does not warrant making said action "information" to, at the minimum 8 senators.

    IF you want to go ahead and have any proposed plan put before 534 members of the senate and house of reps., Not one single thing will ever get done by any intelligence agency.

    July 15, 2009 at 7:25 p.m.

  • Point out to me where in the 1947 act that it says congress must be notified?

    The National Security Act of 1947 mandated a major reorganization of the foreign policy and military establishments of the U.S. Government. The act created many of the institutions that Presidents found useful when formulating and implementing foreign policy, including the National Security Council (NSC). The Council itself included the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and other members (such as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency), who met at the White House to discuss both long-term problems and more immediate national security crises. A small NSC staff was hired to coordinate foreign policy materials from other agencies for the President. Beginning in 1953 the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs directed this staff. Each President has accorded the NSC with different degrees of importance and has given the NSC staff varying levels of autonomy and influence over other agencies such as the Departments of State and Defense. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, for example, used the NSC meetings to make key foreign policy decisions, while John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson preferred to work more informally through trusted associates. Under President Richard M. Nixon, the NSC staff, then headed by Henry A. Kissinger, was transformed from a coordinating body into an organization that actively engaged in negotiations with foreign leaders and implementing the President's decisions.

    July 15, 2009 at 6:53 p.m.

  • Wayward
    You SHOULD assume everyone wants to destroy the enemy.

    They are a sovereign nation; they are stable when they say they are stable.

    We line up the cross –hairs everyday at Centcom, NO ONE HAS a problem with that.

    I am not familiar with the killing of Yamamoto.
    For me, it is more about separation of powers, so that is why I went into all the misuses of power, which you ignored..BTW

    I am not mad, it gets frustrating hearing those say that if you don’t believe in my methods you are weak on terror or get a lecture reminding me of 9/11.

    Got to go….Take care

    July 15, 2009 at 6:08 p.m.

  • Vet..."Wasn't it F.D.R. himself who ordered American pilots to ambush Yamamoto and the Japanese?"

    I'll have to research that. I'm not sure the military told FDR in advance. I do know that the JCS were concerned that the act might alert the Japanese that we were reading their mail but they finally determined that the advantages of killing Yamamoto were worth the risk. I am sure they didn't tell congress.

    Mike...Why are you so mad? I'm not being condescending nor did I question your patriotism. I never suggested that you didn't want Al Queda defeated or eliminated. I simply asked a question wondering if you thought the ambush of a Japanese admiral was different from ambushing Al Queda leaders. I also asked if you objected to congress not being informed of the Yamamoto ambush. This has nothing to do with Ford's ban on political assassinations. Ford issued that ban after HE spilled the beans to newspaper editors by accident. He was too much a congress critter and not enough of a president. He didn't know how to keep his mouth shut. We ARE at war and I think that lining up some of their leaders in cross-hairs and pulling the trigger on them couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch. Killing them would not be political assassination but rather an act of war. There is a difference. Killing them would be just like killing some guy caught setting up a roadside IED.

    I don't have a clue where you are coming from about the FISA court and warrantless wiretapping. I didn't mention that either. And, Mike I haven't called Obama a dictator. That was somebody else. You said that we might not be able to use droans in Pakistan when they get a stable government. Stable government in Pakistan -- isn't that sort of like an oxymoron?

    July 15, 2009 at 5:50 p.m.

  • Wayward

    First of all, the stop being condescending so you can understand the situation.It is condescending to think I don't want Al Qaeda eliminated.

    As I stated in this initial blog, everyone is for taking out all of Al Qaeda, your group is not any more patriotic than anyone else. That is not the issue.

    What we might have here is a separation of powers, whereby the vice president (under no constitutional authority) can order an intelligence committee to bypass Congress…. If he did not, no problem.
    Again, at a stated in the body of the blog, assassinations of leaders in wartime are different from the Gerald Ford’s ban on assassinations… A better analogy would be the aerial drones we are currently using in Pakistan to kill Al Qaida leaders under the authority of this president. When Pakistan regains a stable government, we might not be allowed to continue..I stated this in the blog.

    As I have stated many times, I’m not against warrantless wiretapping if it complies with the FISA law. Although the panel of judges on the FISA Court approved of over 99% of the request, the Bush administration bypasses them any way…. In fact they went to the Atty. General’s Ashcroft’s hospital bed to try and get him to sign off on an illegal program. He refused, the president authorized it anyway.

    This is a pattern, remember the administration wanting to amend the Geneva Convention, to give cover for actions they instructed the CIA to do. This is not about WW II, because we have several laws intact since then. Again for about the eighth time I’m not that naïve, I know we have tortured in every major war we have been in but we buried out mistakes or atrocities. The previous administration acted as though “if the president authorizes it, then it’s legal.” Since the higher ups are never made to account, it’s the lower rank that have to pay, when they are caught.

    If the intelligence community thinks the laws are too restrictive, then we have a process whereby Congress can give them more powers.

    Bottom line, we cannot have a system where government lawyers write memos to bypass current law, preach to other countries about “rule of law” and disregard it here at home, when we want to, preach the other countries about human rights, when we torture, or violate international law.

    I know how you feel about killing any Muslim (guilty or not) but the generals’ in Iraq and Afghanistan are not fighting that kind of war. As General Petraeus said for every innocent Iraqi we mistreat, we make eight new enemies.

    Each week we get a new story as the whistleblowers come forward;Are we just supposed to ignore them?

    You call Obama a dictator but you are OK with all the doings of the previous administration.

    July 15, 2009 at 5:04 p.m.

  • Wasn't it F.D.R. himself who ordered American pilots to ambush Yamamoto and the Japanese?

    July 15, 2009 at 4:58 p.m.

  • Mike...Personally, I think killing Al Qaeda members of whatever rank is a good thing and if we could nail some of the leaders, that would be a really good thing. I have two questions for you. If such an operation really existed and was carried out and we did in fact kill some of the leaders of Al Qaeda, how would that be different from the USAAF ambushing and killing Japanese Admiral Yamamoto in 1943? Would you have objected to the killing of Yamamoto since congress wasn't told of the plan?

    July 15, 2009 at 4:06 p.m.

  • Yes I do Vet…. Ollie North lied to Congress and today he is a right wing talk show host.

    What a country.

    Did they ever account for that money?

    July 15, 2009 at 3:39 p.m.

  • I do not have a problem with the CIA, the military, or law enforcement but they’re not above the law. I am very respectful of the job the CIA does. That is not in question.

    Count them, two high officials in the CIA told Leon Panetta about the secret program. Secrets do play a very important role but our constitution allows for a separation of powers and a 1947 Act is what the CIA must comply with.

    Nancy Pelosi is one person (bogeyman to the right wing) but she has only one vote, 434 can vote against her in the House of Representatives, 100 in the senate, and the president can veto any policy or bill.

    How can it damage the CIA, if the two top officials made the Leon Panetta aware of it? As I said, the investigation might exonerate the CIA and Dick Cheney. The plan, according to the CIA, was non-operational… If the CIA didn’t carry out the program, how can it harm them? They might have to explain that $1,000,000 or who authorized them not telling Congress.

    As Arnold Schwarzenegger would say “the CIA is not a bunch of girly boys.”

    I guess you know, we do not live in a military state, the civilians control the military.

    The New York time in the Washington Post was fed pentagon propaganda prior to the war in return for embedded reporters. Leaks work both ways… The White House will leak what it wants to the newspapers when it suits them.

    July 15, 2009 at 3:33 p.m.

  • Anyone remember Iran-Contra?

    July 15, 2009 at 3:06 p.m.

  • The men & women of the CIA put their lives on the line in order to gain the best intelligence they can it may not by always right, but you have to give them credit for trying.

    Pelosi and her politics could do more damage then good. If this investigation comes to light, it will damage the intelligence network that the CIA has in place. Secrets do play a very important role here, that information does not need to be laid out on the table. I wouold like to know who that congress person was that gave up CIA secrets to the NY Times?

    July 15, 2009 at 2:59 p.m.

  • Alton
    This not about Democrats or Republicans, the GOP ranking member Pete Hoekstra wants an investigation….Nothing to do with Pelosi, it is more to do with separation of powers…This will be a congressional investatigation…Read again, not my angle; that is the same old “wag the dog” Tactic” that the GOP used against Clinton, when he was bombing Iraq, in retaliation for the threat on pappy Bush.

    Dick Cheney can’t have both ways…If he and his daughter are out on the networks saying that Obama is not keeping us safe.

    Congress is very capable of looking at secret memo, documents..That’s why we have an Intelligence Committee.

    July 15, 2009 at 2:52 p.m.

  • Interesting; one thing is certain if the Democratic members want the investigation they have the votes to do it. May biggest concerns are the cost, affect on morale of CIA staff, affect on release of secret documents and memos, and the precedence that this will create.
    Other than determining who is lying Pelosi,Cheney, CIA what will it accomplish? Your angle on creating a diversion for the public/news media may have some merit.
    In the past investigation, they lasted for years, spent 100's of millions of dollars, and produced nothing constructive. I contend most administration are not 100% truthful/transparent. And do we really want them to be when it comes to intelligence?

    July 15, 2009 at 2:32 p.m.

  • Itisi
    One big difference..I did not feel the need to lecture you.

    July 15, 2009 at 2:25 p.m.

  • Itisi said
    “Politics has no place in the CIA”…. I imagine Nicaragua, Lebanon, Cuba, and Bolivia would not agree.

    Paul Pillar, a former CIA deputy counterterrorism chief, in the March/April issue of Foreign Affairs.

    But Pillar, while rehashing every myth about the run-up to the Iraq war (and adding a few new ones), inadvertently lays bare a rarely discussed Washington truth: that the CIA itself is a political

    You you think Mr. Pillar needs to go back to Ground Zero, and Washington, DC, and read what the founders wrote to tell us what we already know about the CIA?

    I think you’re laying it on pretty thick.

    July 15, 2009 at 2:21 p.m.

  • That is the way I see it. I earned that opinion. I think my poem just about said it all.
    I'm Not into a war of words.I have a lot fun reading all these comments.

    see ya

    July 15, 2009 at 2:20 p.m.

  • When itisi said
    “I do fear our government and the leadership that has come before this great land that we live in.”

    I could come back and say “You people have a lot of nerve, or just not thinking, I don’t know which, it is truly sad.”….. Or has that already been said on the other side of the fence?....

    This comment history is a great tool for keeping people honest.

    July 15, 2009 at 2:06 p.m.

  • Vietnam Vet,
    right back at you, LinebackerII Dec,72.

    Politics has no place in the CIA. Those are the folks you're bashing..

    July 15, 2009 at 2:04 p.m.

  • itisi, you're in over your head here.

    July 15, 2009 at 1:59 p.m.

  • First of all bashing is in the eyes of the beholder…… If one were to read the local newspaper or watch the network news, one would know that it was two top officials of the CIA who brought this program to the attention of the current CIA director Leon Panetta… Leon Panetta put an immediate halt to the program and informed Congress, as required by law…. An investigation is warranted but it works both ways. The vice president can be exonerated.

    What that has to do with ground zero, the founding fathers, and hardworking men and women is left up to the imagination…… No one is above the law.

    July 15, 2009 at 1:49 p.m.

  • Been to Ground Zero, D.C., etc. Makes me proud I wore the uniform for this country and defended the Constitution.

    July 15, 2009 at 1:46 p.m.

  • Hey guys & gals,

    Maybe some of you should load up in mini vans or electric cars take a road trip to NYC, ground zero, on the way back make a stop in DC and read some of those documents that our founding fathers wrote. Just maybe it will remind you what this country is all about most importantly those lives that were sacrificed so that you can enjoy that 1st amendment right that you are using to bash all of those hard working men and women.

    You people have a lot of nerve, or just not thinking, I don’t know which, it is truly sad.

    July 15, 2009 at 1:28 p.m.

  • I think Keith Obermann said it best when he said "The GOP is now saying that the CIA is lying, when they said they lied, because they don't lie..."I am paraphrasing because I was laughing too hard ,when I heard it....Sounds like Rummy.

    I thought they only used that color coding before an election.

    How ironic, Karl Rowe told Fox that Cheney could not tell congress because he feared leaks..Huh? So, the executive branch can bypass the legislative branch? Karl Rowe should know all about leaks....Valerie Plame.

    Where is Dick Cheney? Before this revelation he was on all the networks except the Home Shopping Network.

    July 15, 2009 at 12:59 p.m.

  • rollinstone..."BTW where did Bush and now I guess Obama get the authority to do that?"

    It's called WAR. In war, people get killed. Sometimes the RIGHT people get killed.

    July 15, 2009 at 12:59 p.m.

  • Well, one good thing, Obama is still doing the wire tapping and assassinating al quaeda leaders in Pakistan.

    BTW where did Bush and now I guess Obama get the authority to do that? Oh well, laws, we don't need no stinking laws.

    July 15, 2009 at 12:48 p.m.

  • I have it on the best of authority, Liz Cheney, that if the plan was to kill Al Qaeda leaders then the democrats are foolish to bring this to light now because it just shows the democrats are a failure at keeping the "homeland" safe. Then Liz goes on to say she has no idea what the plan was but "we kept the homeland safe". Liz won't say if her father had the authority to tell the CIA to put a lid on it but she believes the law would have allowed him to if he did. Liz got us all straightened out on all this.
    BTW, what is the color code for today, green, orange, fuschia, purple? Isn't that color code protecting us?

    July 15, 2009 at 12:33 p.m.

  • Maybe that’s where that one million dollars went; to pay Jack Bauer…. The documents they turned over,showed one million dollars was allocated to this non-operational project.

    Oh well, that’s better than Obama taking his wife out on a town, for $250,000 of the taxpayers’ dime.

    Wait, I saw the president at the All-Star game last night, how much that that cost?

    It’s a lot better than giving them nasty, unappreciative, worthless poor people; Health Insurance.

    It’s all about priorities…. You won’t hear word from the conservatives, money well spent.

    July 15, 2009 at 11:16 a.m.

  • Where's Jack Bauer when you need him?

    July 15, 2009 at 10:36 a.m.

  • Oh yeah, one more thing telling Congress about a highly dangerous covert operation - well, you might as well tell the New York Times.

    July 14, 2009 at 6:19 p.m.

  • I'll tell you what is sickening, how about having to jump out of a 100 story building to keep from burning to death, or having some one video tape your head being cut off, or an IED blowing you in half.

    Yeah, let's hamstring the CIA to prevent them from doing their job - what a bunch of liberal socialist cr@p.

    July 14, 2009 at 6:14 p.m.

  • It seems like the GOP wants a hold on to that “Clinton card” as a threat, but I continue to say, investigate, and let the cards fall where they may.

    It looks like Atty. General Eric Holder might assert his independence by probing the Bush- era torture. After the Atty. General received the Inspector General’s final report on the Bush enhanced interrogation program, he cleared his schedule for two days and read the sickening report a couple of times,to make sure he had his I’s dotted and T’s crossed, before appointing a special prosecutor.

    July 14, 2009 at 4:25 p.m.

  • Former vice President Cheney was never denied his freedom of speech… A gun to one’s head is not even part of the topic.

    We are not a rogue nation, rather a nation of laws, if the laws are too restrictive for National Security then the intelligence community needs to go through Congress(where they get their funding) and change it…..

    July 14, 2009 at 4:15 p.m.

  • This comment was removed by the user.

    July 14, 2009 at 4:08 p.m.

  • U.S. Intelligence Services have the right to develop options. Vice President Cheney has the right to free speech, regards if his opinion is complementary or not. No one is putting a gun to anyones head. Sometimes those options may not be legal if fully realized at the moment, but its not very intelligent to only develop options that reflect current political or legal opinion.

    I would hate to see U.S. intelligence reduced to reacting instead of preempting action that would require a more dire response.

    July 14, 2009 at 4 p.m.

  • I think its more about the GOP trying to CYA with a lot of noise and fingerpointing.

    Hey Bushies, its time to pay the piper...

    July 14, 2009 at 3:43 p.m.

  • And while we're at it let's investigate the kidnapping and rendition of terror suspects during the Clinton administration.

    Oops, I forgot this is about bashing Bush/Cheney and giving cover to Pelosi.

    July 14, 2009 at 12:25 p.m.