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House Intelligence Committee to investigate CIA secret assassination plan

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee [official website] will launch an investigation into plans by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] to assassinate al Qaeda members, the Committee announced [press release] Friday. The Committee has already requested documents [Washington Post report] from the CIA and will likely hold hearings, according to Committee-member Jan Schakowsky [official profile]. The Committee hopes to learn whether former vice president Dick Cheney told the CIA to hide the program from Congress as media reports alleged [NYT report; JURIST report] last week. Former Bush administration officials have defended the decision not to reveal the program to Congress on the grounds that the program was only in the planning phase and not yet fully developed. It is not yet known whether the committee will call Cheney as a witness.

Members of Congress called for an investigation [JURIST report] into the program earlier this week. CIA director Leon Panetta [official profile] revealed the program to Congress and announced its termination in June.

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