Monday, July 10, 2006

Congressman Says Program Was Disclosed by Informant - New York Times

Congressman Says Program Was Disclosed by Informant - New York Times: "The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Sunday that the Bush administration briefed the panel on a 'significant' intelligence program only after a government whistle-blower alerted him to its existence and he pressed President Bush for details.

The chairman, Representative Peter Hoekstra, Republican of Michigan, wrote in a May 18 letter to Mr. Bush, first disclosed publicly on Saturday by The New York Times, that the administration's failure to notify his committee of this program and others could be a 'violation of law.'

Mr. Hoekstra expanded on his concerns in a television appearance on Sunday, saying that when the administration withholds information from Congress, 'I take it very, very seriously.'

Mr. Hoekstra and other officials would not discuss the nature of the undisclosed intelligence programs. But officials have said he was not referring to the National Security Agency's wiretapping operation or to the Treasury Department's bank monitoring program, both of which he was informed about. Mr. Hoekstra made clear on Sunday that he was particularly troubled by the failure to notify the Intelligence Committee of one particular major program.

'We can't be briefed on every little thing that they are doing,' Mr. Hoekstra said in an interview on 'Fox News Sunday.' 'But in this case, there was at least one major — what I consider significant — activity that we had not been briefed on that we have now been briefed on. And I want to set the standard there, that it is not optional for this president or any president or people in the executive community not to keep the intelligence committees fully informed of what they are doing.'"

So what else is the administration doing to us that we don't know about?


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