Cheney Lies on Fox: Congress Told Us We Didn't Need Approval for Spying
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In an interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace yesterday morning, Vice President Dick Cheney defended the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program and claimed that the congressional leaders briefed on the program wholeheartedly approved. In fact, Cheney claimed, when the White House asked if it needed congressional approval for the program, they unanimously agreed it did not:
CHENEY: We briefed them on the program and what we'd achieved and how it worked and asked them should we continue the program. They were unanimous, Republican and Democrat alike. All agreed: Absolutely essential to continue the program. I then said, Do we need to come to the Congress and get additional legislating authorization to continue what we're doing? They said absolutely not. Don't do it.
Cheney's startling claims run directly counter to accounts by House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V. Rather than asking for congressional input, Pelosi and Rockefeller said in 2005 that Cheney simply informed them of what was going on -- and ignored their objections:
Ali Frick is a research associate for the Progress Report and ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.