NYT 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
This time the whistle-blower did the right thing; he privately informed the head of the Intelligence Committee about something, rather than telling it to a reporter from the New York Times, or some other Al Qaeda connected media organization.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."
The operative phrase there is "could be". As Hoekstra later admits, they should not be informed about every minor detail, and it is a matter of judgement what is minor, and what is major.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.
And they should not, but I bet it really ticked the NYT off that they would not, so that the NYT could inform their allies in Al Qaeda about the program.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.
And both of which the NYT already informed their allies in Al Qaeda 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."
You asked about the program, and they told you about it, but you are an arrogant popinjay if you think it is up to you to set standards about what you will or will not be told about.The White House declined to comment on the issue Sunday but said last week that it would continue to work closely with Mr. Hoekstra and the intelligence committees.