US aides respond to CIA programme


Aides from the White Houses of both Barack Obama and George W Bush defended themselves yesterday against claims that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) broke the law by hiding a programme to assassinate al-Qaeda leaders.

The programme was revealed over the past few days and only halted last month by Leon Panetta, CIA director.

Republicans reject claims that Dick Cheney, the former vice-president, kept the programme hidden from Congressional oversight.

The Obama administration is seeking to challenge any perception that it is hostile to the CIA or weak on the war on terror.

Elizabeth Cheney, Mr Cheney’s daughter and a former State Department official, said there was no evidence that the former vice-president broke the law.