Sunday, January 01, 2006

Justice Deputy Resisted Parts of Spy Program - New York Times

NYT reported A top Justice Department official objected in 2004 to aspects of the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program and refused to sign on to its continued use amid concerns about its legality and oversight, according to officials with knowledge of the tense internal debate. The concerns appear to have played a part in the temporary suspension of the secret program.

This story comes from the same two authors that exposed sources and methods of a program to track calls from Al Qaeda to cells in hte US which has proven very useful in preventing another 9/11 attack on this country. Did the same trator that betrayed the US when he revealed the secret NSA program also come up with this information that Eric Lichtblau and James Risen printed here, or did they find another trator, or perhaps did Risen make it up to help hype the book he has coming out this month?
The concerns prompted two of President Bush's most senior aides - Andrew H. Card Jr., his chief of staff, and Alberto R. Gonzales, then White House counsel and now attorney general - to make an emergency visit to a Washington hospital in March 2004 to discuss the program's future and try to win the needed approval from Attorney General John Ashcroft, who was hospitalized for gallbladder surgery, the officials said.

The unusual meeting was prompted because Mr. Ashcroft's top deputy, James B. Comey, who was acting as attorney general in his absence, had indicated he was unwilling to give his approval to certifying central aspects of the program, as required under the White House procedures set up to oversee it.
If an acting attorney general will not support something, what is unusual about talking to the real attorney general.
With Mr. Comey unwilling to sign off on the program, the White House went to Mr. Ashcroft - who had been in the intensive care unit at George Washington University Hospital with pancreatitis and was housed under unusually tight security - because "they needed him for certification," according to an official briefed on the episode. The official, like others who discussed the issue, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the classified nature of the program.
So you admit that you have found another source who will betray classified information about a secret intelligence program important to the defense of the US in the War on Terror.

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