Former Vice President Dick Cheney directed the CIA eight years ago not to brief Congress on a secret counterterrorism program created after the Sept. 11 attacks, according to reports from the Associated Press and The New York Times.
The details of the program have not been released, but Texas congressman Silvestre Reyes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told NPR, "This was a very highly classified program that had been in place since right after the attacks of 9/11 and involved a worldwide effort. It's a very serious program."
CIA Director Leon Panetta ended the program when he learned about it on June 23, according to Reyes. "And then I'd say within less than 24 hours, he was in front of our committee giving us the full scale of information," Reyes said.
Reyes said the CIA may have violated provisions of the National Security Act that requires Congress to be kept informed about this and other intelligence programs.
"We have, on our committee, come up with a number of instances where we were not given the full and complete information. In some cases, information was kept from the committee, and in at least one instance we were deliberately lied to."