What did they know and how long did it take them to tell it?

Worldview Thought for the Day

So, the CIA had this program that came into existance soon after 9-11 to kill leaders of al-Qaeda and they didn’t tell Congress about it. This failure to inform Congress may or may not have been a violation of the law.

Now, this decision not to tell was apparently made by former-Secretary-of-Defense-then-Vice-President Dick Cheney. Why? Apparently because there was a concern that if Congress was told about the on-again-off-again-program-that-never-became-operational, it would leak.

Meanwhile, former-human-rights-enforcing-congressman-now-Director-of-the-CIA Leon Panetta briefed Congress on the program two weeks ago and now everyone from the former-community-organizer-now-President’s dog to Osama bin Laden knows that the CIA had a program it was trying to develop to kill high value al-Qaeda targets at close range without using drones. Former-terrorist-now-Pakistani-insurgent al-Qaeda intelligence agents are probably working as you read to determine the nature of this program and how to thwart it.

It is entirely possible that someone broke the law, and I believe that everyone who does break the law should be punished if they are guilty, including not just unpopular former vice presidents, but also talkative Speakers of the House, leaky intelligence committee members, and Senate Majority Leaders who don’t think the law applies to them either. You see, the very laws that require the CIA to inform Congress about its operations also provide for a mechanism for the nature of these programs to be revealed in such a way that the nation’s best interests are not compromised. Failing to inform Congress is just as illegal as revealing classified information.

So, I think there should be investigations. Let’s investigate what the CIA did and did not tell Congress and whether or not they should. Let’s see if Dick Cheney broke the law by ordering that Congress be kept in the dark. But, let’s also find the people in Congress or in Congressional staffs responsible for breaking the nations national security laws too.

Once all of the lawbreakers are in jail, we’ll probably be better off for it, but I think we might all be surprised who those lawbreakers are.


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