The TimesOnline (UK) reports that Dick Cheney ordered that a secret CIA Counter-Terrorism program remain secret.
"Critics of the agency, however, want it to be more forthcoming about its secret programmes."The CIA withheld information about a secret counter-terrorism programme for eight years on the orders of former Vice President Dick Cheney, according to a report in The New York Times.
The agency's director Leon Panetta terminated the programme after learning about it last month, the newspaper reports The following day he called an emergency meeting with the House and Senate Intelligence committees to brief them.
Previous directors of the agency had not informed Congress of the programme because the intelligence-gathering effort had not developed to the point that they believed merited a congressional briefing, a former intelligence official and another government official told The New York Times.
Mr Cheney played a central role in overseeing the Bush administration's surveillance programme and was a key advocate of using controversial interrogation methods such as waterboarding on terrorism suspects.
The surveillance programme was the subject of an inspectors general report last week which noted that Mr Cheney's chief of staff, David Addington, personally decided who in former President George Bush's inner circle could know about the secret programme; a degree of secrecy that the report concluded had hurt the effectiveness of the counter-terrorism surveillance effort.
An effort to reach Mr Cheney was unsuccessful.
Asked about the report in the New York Times, CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano told Reuters said it was not the agency's practice to discuss classified briefings. (More...)