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Dick Cheney 'hid plans to kill al-Qaida operatives abroad'

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cheneytalk460.jpg Former US vice-president ####### Cheney ordered a classified counter-terrorism plan to be hidden from Congress. Photograph: Mark Wilson/Getty

####### Cheney, the former vice president, ordered a highly classified CIA operation hidden from Congress because it pushed the limits of legality by planning to assassinate al-Qaida operatives in friendly countries without the knowledge of their governments, according to former intelligence officials.

Former counter-terrorism officials who retain close links to the intelligence community say that the hidden operation involved plans by the CIA and the military to launch operations, similar to those by Israel's Mossad intelligence service, to hunt down and kill al-Qaida activists abroad without informing the governments concerned, even though some were regarded as friendly if unreliable.

The CIA apparently did not put the plan in to operation but the US military did, carrying out several assassinations including one in Kenya that proved to be a severe embarrassment and helped lead to the quashing of the programme.

A former intelligence official said the plan was hatched in the cauldron of the September 11 attacks when officials were pushing various forms of unilateral action and some settled on the Israelis as an example.

"One of the most sensitive areas has been what we do in friendly countries that don't want to co-operate or maybe we don't have enough confidence to entrust them with information. If you have an al-Qaida guy wandering around certain bits of the world we might decide that we need to deal with that ourselves, directly, without making a lot of noise," he said. "There was a plan to deal with that. It was much talked about in the CIA and the military had its own operation."

Another former senior intelligence official responsible for dealing with al-Qaida said that assassination plans were reined in after similar covert operations by the military were botched and proved to be embarrassing, particularly the killing in Kenya. He did not give details of the operation.

The official said he believes from conversations with serving members of the CIA that the area of real concern in Congress is that the planned operations may also have involved the covert surveillance of American citizens.

There appears to be common agreement among knowledgeable former intelligence officials that the controversy goes beyond the immediate question of assassination and capture of al-Qaida operatives as there have been numerous killings and detentions since the 9/11 attacks.

One former official said that the Bush administration discussed assassinations in the context of a ban introduced in the 1970s that responded to several failed CIA attempts to murder Fidel Castro, and concluded that as the US had declared itself at war with al-Qaida and the Taliban, this ban did not apply.

Peter Bergen, a senior security analyst at the New America Foundation, said that the secret operation must have gone further than that to have created such a backlash in Congress: "If it's an assassination programme of al-Qaida leaders that is hardly surprising. Clinton had an assassination programme against bin Laden. There have been 27 drone missile strikes against al-Qaida alone this year."

The CIA has declined to comment and members of Congress who were finally briefed about the issue by the CIA director, Leon Panetta, last month are bound by confidentiality.

Some former intelligence officials and Republicans have attempted to portray the programme as barely getting out of the planning stages but others in the intelligence community have said it is highly unlikely that the CIA would have kept such an operation going for eight years without advancing it.

The evident anger in Congress is fuelling demands for a full blown investigation in to the CIA's failure to disclose the programme and Cheney's role in the cover up. The Senate majority whip, ####### Durbin, said the programme could have been illegal: "The executive branch of government should not create programs like these programs and keep Congress in the dark. To have a massive program that was concealed from the leaders in Congress is not only inappropriate, it could be illegal."

Anna Eshoo, a senior Democrat on the House of Representatives intelligence committee, is also calling for a probe. "We, by no means, have the full story. We don't know who gave the order. We don't know where the money came from. We don't know all the people who were involved," she told Politico. "We need a full investigation. My preference is that we hire an attorney to come in and run this, someone that is known for their prosecutorial knowledge as well as their knowledge of this particular area of the law."

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Refusing to use the spellchick!

I have put you on ignore. No really, I have, but you are still ruining my enjoyment of this site. .

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I don't know anyone who would be suprised at this....and if anyone is...they shouldn't be.

Covert operations/assasinations that are not 'officially' approved or endorsed by the elected leaders have been going on since 'dot'.....by just about everyone. I'm not saying that makes it right at all...Just saying that it happens and it's not shocking ( to me) that plans were covertly hatched with reference to AQ.


Liefde is een bloem zo teer dat hij knakt bij de minste aanraking en zo sterk dat niets zijn groei in de weg staat

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IK HOU VAN JOU, MARK

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Take a large, almost round, rotating sphere about 8000 miles in diameter, surround it with a murky, viscous atmosphere of gases mixed with water vapor, tilt its axis so it wobbles back and forth with respect to a source of heat and light, freeze it at both ends and roast it in the middle, cover most of its surface with liquid that constantly feeds vapor into the atmosphere as the sphere tosses billions of gallons up and down to the rhythmic pulling of a captive satellite and the sun. Then try to predict the conditions of that atmosphere over a small area within a 5 mile radius for a period of one to five days in advance!

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Peter Bergen, a senior security analyst at the New America Foundation, said that the secret operation must have gone further than that to have created such a backlash in Congress: "If it's an assassination programme of al-Qaida leaders that is hardly surprising. Clinton had an assassination programme against bin Laden. There have been 27 drone missile strikes against al-Qaida alone this year."

Killing the enemy leaders during war is unheard of. Shocking simply shocking.

The evident anger in Congress is fuelling demands for a full blown investigation in to the CIA's failure to disclose the programme and Cheney's role in the cover up. The Senate majority whip, ####### Durbin, said the programme could have been illegal: "The executive branch of government should not create programs like these programs and keep Congress in the dark. To have a massive program that was concealed from the leaders in Congress is not only inappropriate, it could be illegal."

Durbin is a horse's #### prone to overstatement with that stuff about comparing American soldiers to Nazis; however, the 8 members of Congress entrusted with CIA oversight should be informed on major covert operations if this was a major operation.

Edited by alienlovechild

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Cheney 'set up illegal secret spy project'

Hidden Republican policies on terrorism threaten major distraction for Obama

Former US Vice-President ####### Cheney was at the centre of a bitter new row last night, after charges he had directly ordered the CIA to keep Congress in the dark about a secret intelligence programme set up after the 9/11 attacks – an action that may have been in violation of the law.

A top Democratic senator, Leon Panetta, who took over as CIA director a month into the Obama administration, told Congress on June 24 about the eight year old project, of which Mr Panetta himself had only just been informed. He told the House And Senate intelligence committees that he had immediately scrapped the programme and that information about it had been withheld at Mr Cheney's behest.

In doing so, the Bush administration may have acted illegally, Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee said. "This is a big problem," she said, although she acknowledged the urgency of the circumstances after the attacks on New York and Washington: "I understand the need of the day... but you weaken your case when you go outside the law."

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Another top Democrat, Deputy Senate Majority Leader ####### Durbin, went further, demanding a full-scale Congressional probe into the affair. He said the executive branch should not create these types of programmes and conceal them from legislators. This was "not only inappropriate, it could be illegal," he said.

The sharp words of the two Democratic Senators came yesterday after the New York Times first reported on the programme, whose exact details still remain a mystery. According to the paper, it did not involve domestic surveillance and wiretapping, subject of a separate ongoing row between the Democratic-controlled Congress and the previous Republican White House, nor the harsh interrogation techniques, including water-boarding, used at secret CIA detention centres abroad.

The secretive and taciturn Mr Cheney was not available for comment. But according to unnamed officials quoted by the paper, the project never become operational, although planning and "some training" had intermittently taken place since 2001. It appears to have emerged amid a search for "radical countermeasures" in the traumatic immediate aftermath of 9/11. But there seems to have been no opposition within the CIA when Mr Panetta recently ordered its end.

The row threatens to be a major distraction and a new rift between the parties at the worst possible moment – just as President Obama's efforts to push through contentious legislation on energy policy, financial market reform, and above all, health care, reach a critical juncture. Yesterday Republicans leapt to the defence of their embattled former vice-president, insisting Mr Cheney and Mr Bush had the constitutional right to protect the country as they saw fit. They accused the Democrats of cooking up the affair to divert attention from their own problems on Capitol Hill, especially on health care.

Nor is the renewed spotlight on Mr Cheney the only instance of how controversies of the Bush era are dogging his successor, despite Mr Obama's insistence that the government must look forward rather than refight battles of the past.

In a potentially explosive move, Eric Holder, the Attorney General, is understood to be considering naming a prosecutor soon to investigate torture allegations against CIA operatives who carried out waterboarding and other "enhanced" methods of interrogation against detainees suspected of terrorism, techniques that may have violated international conventions against torture.

The White House has publicly come out against any legal sanctions, arguing that this would further damage morale at the CIA, and has successfully fended off action against the Bush administration officials who devised the tough interrogation policies – among whose strongest backers was Mr Cheney.

Mr Holder could thus drive an embarrassing wedge between his Justice Department and Mr Obama, a problem the former acknowledged this weekend. "I hope that whatever decision I make would not have a negative impact on the President's agenda," Mr Holder told Newsweek magazine. "But that can't be a part of my decision."

John McCain, Mr Obama's defeated opponent in 2008, also backed the president. A congressional probe into the Cheney revelations, and possible criminal action against some CIA employees were "not a good idea," the Arizona senator said on the NBC's Meet the Press yesterday.

Further washing of such dirty linen in public would merely inflict new damage on the image of the US around the world. "I agree with the President, it's time to move forwards," Mr McCain said.

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Refusing to use the spellchick!

I have put you on ignore. No really, I have, but you are still ruining my enjoyment of this site. .

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that guy creeps the sh!t outta me, really...


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There is something dodgy about imposing a christian based democracy on the rest of the world - particularly with such cynical manoeuvrings behind the scenes that's for sure.


Refusing to use the spellchick!

I have put you on ignore. No really, I have, but you are still ruining my enjoyment of this site. .

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