State Secrets

Cheney's Death Squads Modeled on Munich

Do reports of Dick Cheney's alleged assassination squads remind you of Munich? That’s because they should: Newsweek reports that the plan was “to hunt down and kill terrorists using commando teams similar to those deployed by Israel after the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre, according to a former senior US official.” Two sources also tell Newsweek that Dick Cheney was not involved in creating or monitoring the operation, which never got off the ground. CIA Director Leon Panetta said he ended the program last June when he first became aware of it, but former-director George Tenet first put it on hold in 2004 after deciding it “posed an unacceptable risk of failure or exposure,” according to former intelligence officials. The CIA never totally scrapped the plan, thinking it might become necessary at some point. They didn’t inform Congress of the plan because it wasn’t operational, not because the vice president told them not to, according to two former officials. Other officials, however, confirmed the account that Cheney was involved in the program and its secrecy.