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Panetta: Congress not told of CIA program

United States President Barack Obama is introduced by CIA Director Leon Panetta prior to making remarks at the George Bush Center for Intelligence (CIA Headquarters) in McLean, Virginia on Monday, April 20, 2009. (UPI Photo/Ron Sachs/Pool)
United States President Barack Obama is introduced by CIA Director Leon Panetta prior to making remarks at the George Bush Center for Intelligence (CIA Headquarters) in McLean, Virginia on Monday, April 20, 2009. (UPI Photo/Ron Sachs/Pool) | License Photo

WASHINGTON, July 10 (UPI) -- CIA Director Leon Panetta canceled an intelligence program after learning it had been carried out without informing Congress, The Washington Post reports.

Panetta only learned of the program in late June, four months after he was sworn in as CIA head, the newspaper said Friday. It had been carried out since 2001.

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Officials would only describe the program in a general way, calling it "off again, on again" and part of the effort to gather intelligence on terrorist suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Democrats on the House and Senate intelligence committees said they should have been briefed on the program during the Bush administration.

"Instructions were given not to brief Congress," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said.

Republicans suggested the program was not a major initiative and congressional briefing was not required.

Republican leaders also suggested Democrats were seeking to bolster House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's claims she was not briefed on the interrogation techniques used by the CIA.

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