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Cheney: Congressional Leaders Wanted To Keep NSA Surveillance A Secret

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Former Vice President Dick Cheney says congressional leaders he briefed in 2004 on a surveillance program recently disclosed by leaker Edward Snowden supported it, and both Republicans and Democrats wanted to keep it secret. ( JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Vice President Dick Cheney says congressional leaders he briefed in 2004 on a surveillance program recently disclosed by leaker Edward Snowden supported it, and both Republicans and Democrats wanted to keep it secret. ( JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Vice President Dick Cheney says congressional leaders he briefed in 2004 on a surveillance program recently disclosed by leaker Edward Snowden supported it, and both Republicans and Democrats wanted to keep it secret.

Cheney said Monday he was directly involved in setting up the program, run by the National Security Agency, in the weeks after the 9/11 attacks. He said it has had “phenomenal results” in preventing terrorist attacks.

Cheney did not specify which program he was referring to. Snowden has disclosed details of programs monitoring phone records and scouring the Internet for threats of terrorism.

Cheney said he met with congressional leaders about three years after the program started. He said they rejected the idea of seeking more formal authorization for fear that information would leak.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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