July 15, 2009
Former intelligence officials say ex-CIA Director George Tenet terminated a secret program to develop special hit teams to take out al-Qaida leaders in 2004 but the plan was later resurrected by Tenet's successor, Porter Goss.
Several officials say Tenet ended the program in 2004 because the agency could not work out the practical details to put it into use during its first three-year incarnation. All spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
Current CIA chief Leon Panetta told the congressional intelligence committee members in June that he had canceled the program after learning of its existence. Panetta also told lawmakers that former Vice President Dick Cheney initially directed the CIA not to inform Congress about the effort.