Rachel Maddow Exposes Illegal CIA Program, For Sure

“The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC is a hot item for fans of the ultra-Left. She was on top of Dick Cheney’s cover-up of a massive secret CIA program to assassinate foreign leaders. In case you missed it, you can see how she cleverly put together the facts from New York Times articles and interviews with a Congresswomen. It’s on YouTube

She followed up with further analysis revealing that in all probability some of the secret assassinations were blundered, so that a cover-up was necessary to protect the Bush Administration. That’s why Vice President Cheney ordered the CIA not to brief Congress on the program. A dozen small clues were fit together under Maddow’s scrutiny to show convincingly that at the very least a Congression investigation was merited, and with almost certainty Cheney should be prosecuted as a criminal.

Maddow received a Ph.D. in Political Science as a Rhodes Scholar to Oxford. She must have the brilliant mind needed to put the pieces together.

As the story unfolded, Maddow didn’t bother to mention a few press reports that others might have found relevant.

1. General Hayden, CIA director under Bush after George Tenet, told the press that he kept congress fully informed of the scope and substance of anti-terrorist activities. He said had never been directed by anyone not to brief Congress.

“A former intelligence official who was familiar with former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden’s tenure at the CIA said Hayden never communicated with the president or vice president about the now-canceled program and was under no restrictions from Cheney about congressional briefings. The official said Hayden was briefed two or three times. … The former intelligence official familiar with Hayden said Congress has a right to contemporaneous information about all CIA activities. But he said there are so many in such early stages that briefing Congress on every one would be too time consuming for both the CIA and the congressional committees.” AP

2. The “massive” program consumed $1 million over eight years. Taking into account the overhead on employees, that translates to about one person working on it for each of the eight years, provided the person didn’t do much traveling. the total budget for national intelligence is around $45 billion. If Congress wishes to be briefed in $1 million increments, that would make 45,000 convenient packages.

3. The program really wasn’t a program. A program is a plan that is put into action. this one never got beyond the study phase. The law requires that Congress be briefed on “anticipated intelligence action.” No intelligence action is anticipated until a plan is ready to be acted upon, and this one never made it to that point. It died in development.

CIA spokesman George Little said Panetta had no regrets about briefing Congress. But he reiterated that the plan never got off the ground. … The program he killed was never fully operational and never took a single terrorist off the battlefield,” Little said. “Those are facts he shared with Congress. We’ve had a string of successes against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, and that program didn’t contribute to any of them.” quoted by Fox News

4. The persons subject to potential assassination were al Queda leaders. It would be a scandal if the CIA was not thinking about how to assassinate al Queda leaders.

In a follow-up report, Maddow interviewed a former State Department official who work for Colin Powell. He knew nothing whatsoever that was relevant, but was willing to opine that Maddow’s analysis was surely correct. When that program appeared, Gen. Hayden had already denied that he had never been ordered to keep the activity from Congress. Maddow didn’t bother to mention that fact. That was the pattern throughout.

As a true-believing ideologue, Maddow might be expected to dismiss contrary evidence as a pack of lies. “Of course Hayden denies it. What would you expect?” “Only $1 million? That’s not what we hear.” It is the stock and trade of conspiracy theorists to dismiss contrary evidence as “obvious lies.” They are pronounced lies because they contradict the theory.

Maddow went beyond that. Maddow’s concealing the contrary evidence entirely crosses the line between errant analysis and outright propaganda. Perhaps new evidence will be revealed that vindicates Maddow’s analysis. That is possible. That would not excuse gross editing of the contrary evidence. Even an ideologically-motivated commentator has an obligation to acknowledge contrary information, even if subsequently dismissing it.

Why might Cheney have instructed the CIA not to brief Congress initially, if the program were not a massive cover up. It’s pure speculation, but perhaps it had something to do with Congress’ spotty record at keeping secrets. When Panetta killed the program, the news of it was publiched within weeks.

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