[JURIST] Former vice-president Dick Cheney [JURIST news archive] directly ordered the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] to withhold from Congress information on a counterterrorism program kept secret for eight years until it was terminated by current CIA director Leon Panetta [official profile], according to a Saturday New York Times report [text]. The secret counterterrorism program was initiated in the months following the 9/11 attacks [JURIST news archive], and details about the program's scope have not been disclosed to the public. Panetta informed [NPR report] Congress in an emergency closed meeting with both the Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives and the Senate [official websites] on June 24, after learning about the program and immediately terminating in on June 23. According to Congressman Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) [official website], Chairman of the House Intelligence committee, the CIA would have violated National Security Act [text] requirements that Congress be kept informed of programs such as this one by keeping it a secret.
On Friday, five federal agencies released a report [text; JURIST report] on the president's warrantless wiretapping program that reviewed both the flawed legal origins of the program as well as questioned the effectiveness of information produced by wiretapping international communications of American citizens. In May, Cheney defended the national security policies [speech transcript; JURIST report] of the Bush administration speaking at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) [organization website], while criticizing many of the security policies of President Barack Obama [official profile].