Monday, December 19, 2005

Americablog: Talk about putting a guy in a bind

Yeah, they got Congress' "approval"--they told a few senators about it and then threatened them if they told anybody else: "Senator Rockefeller sent a handwritten letter to VP Dick Cheney expressing his concern about the secret domestic spying program [in 2003]. The Senator kept a copy in order to prove he'd raised these concerns. Today, after President Bush told the nation at a press conference that members of Congress were briefed on the spy plan and had approved it, Rockefeller released the letter to Cheney."

Jay's statement includes this:

“For the last few days, I have witnessed the President, the Vice President, the Secretary of State, and the Attorney General repeatedly misrepresent the facts.

“The record needs to be set clear that the Administration never afforded members briefed on the program an opportunity to either approve or disapprove the NSA program. The limited members who were told of the program were prohibited by the Administration from sharing any information about it with our colleagues, including other members of the Intelligence Committees.

“At the time, I expressed my concerns to Vice President Cheney that the limited information provided to Congress was so overly restricted that it prevented members of Congress from conducting meaningful oversight of the legal and operational aspects of the program.

“These concerns were never addressed, and I was prohibited from sharing my views with my colleagues.

“Now that this issue has been brought out into the open, I strongly urge the Senate Intelligence Committee to immediately undertake a full investigation into the legal and operational aspects of the program, including the lack of sufficient congressional oversight.”


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