CIA Director Leon Panetta’s revelation of a secret program which the CIA had kept carefully hidden from Congress since 2001 has sparked an enormous partisan battle and renewed concerns about the organization’s behavior during the Bush Administration and early Obama Administration.
Late last month, Panetta revealed that the CIA had misled Congress and “concealed significant actions” from them. Panetta claimed that he had just noticed the program four months after taking the post, and immediately canceled it and informed Congress.
House Democrats have latched onto the revelation as another example of the Bush Administration’s covert activities. Republicans claimed Panetta was trying to score points with Congressional Democrats, who labeled him a “stand-up guy,” and that the program was “not a major tool” and therefore it didn’t need to be revealed. Congressional Democrats are now talking about holding an investigation into the matter.
At this point there is no real indication of exactly what the hidden program entailed, as it remains classified. Until such information is uncovered it will be extremely difficult to wade through the partisan rhetoric and determine what, if anything, the ramifications of the program will be.