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House panel to investigate cancelled CIA programme

A Congressional panel has announced its decision to investigate the CIA's secret programme, which was concealed by previous Bush administration and was abandoned by the agency's Director Leon Panetta when he came to known about it.

world Updated: Jul 18, 2009 10:20 IST

A Congressional panel has announced its decision to investigate the CIA's secret programme, which was concealed by previous Bush administration and was abandoned by the agency's Director Leon Panetta when he came to known about it.

The controversial CIA programme, concealed at the instance of the former Vice President Dick Cheney, was to assassinate top al-Qaeda leaders.

After the programme was briefed to the US lawmakers by Panetta last month, Democratic Congressmen and Senators have been calling for its investigation.

In a statement, the House Intelligence Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes announced that the committee would investigate the handling of the programme including Cheney's alleged improperly intervening to stop the agency from telling the Congress about the initiative.

"The committee must be kept fully and currently informed of significant intelligence activities as required by law," Reyes said, adding the decision was made in consultation with House Republicans.

The Committee has already requested documents from the CIA and possibly would hold hearings, the Washington Post reported on Saturday.