Oh my Lord! From The Daily Beast:
The Daily Beast has learned that shortly after his electrifying June 24 disclosure, Panetta spoke personally with each of his three predecessorsGeorge Tenet, Porter Goss, and Michael Haydenand only then realized the mistake hed made about the program. An innocent mistake, but the consequences of his gaffe, which hes unable to admit without damaging his own reputation further, will likely subject U.S. intelligence capabilities to unnecessary and intrusive oversight for years to come.
But once Panetta had spoken with Tenet, Goss, and Hayden, he learned that this secret program wasnt much more than a PowerPoint presentation and a task force assigned to think it through. Sensitive information had been collected in a single foreign country, my sources tell me. Thats about it. It wasnt really a coherent program at all so much as a collection of schemes, each attempting to achieve the same objective: to kill terrorists. This was one of perhaps dozens of ideas that had been kicked around at Langley since September 2001, when George W. Bush issued a presidential finding authorizing the agency to use deadly force against Osama bin Laden or other terrorists.
Under three successive CIA directors, these plans for paramilitary hit squads had been given three different names. (In the CIA, a program isnt real until its given a codename.) But they never got off the ground. The logistical, legal, and political obstacles proved to be insurmountable. George Tenet gave up on ittoo many moving parts. Porter Goss took another stab at it, but nothing, and then Gen. Michael V. Haydens team studied it for a while but envisioned nothing but trouble. So there was a reason that none of the last three CIA directors had briefed Congress about it: There was nothing to brief.