About That Dick…
Turns out AG Gonzales was less than accurate in yesterday’s testimony, says a whole host of folks who were at the classified meeting that he attempted to use as a CYA manuever with a double twist and a half nelson. The weirdness of the testimony at the end regarding who actually suggested that Card and Gonzales go to the ICU sickbed of then-AG Ashcroft raised a whole host of questions yesterday, including this one: who exactly is running the national security apparatus of this country?
And then I remembered the letter that Sen. Rockfeller had sent in opposition to the NSA domestic spying program. And to whom it was sent. To wit:
What he heard alarmed him so much that immediately afterward he wrote two identical letters, by hand, expressing his concerns.
He sent one to Vice President Cheney and placed the other — as he pointedly warned Cheney he would — in a safe in case anyone in the future might challenge his version of what happened. Rockefeller proved prophetic. Yesterday the 21-year Senate veteran from West Virginia released his copy of the letter — which when written, was so sensitive he dared not allow a staffer to read it, let alone type it.
Why did Sen. Rockfeller send his objection letter only to Vice President Cheney, and not to the President of the United States himself? Isn’t that interesting? (More on the letter here as well.)
But there is more:
Rockefeller, turning back to the NSA program in his letter, told Cheney: “Without more information and the ability to draw on any independent legal or technical expertise, I simply cannot satisfy lingering concerns raised by the briefing we received.”
The letter, whose existence was unknown to Rockefeller’s staff, indicated that the three briefers were Cheney, then-CIA Director George J. Tenet and then NSA-Director Michael V. Hayden. The letter said the Senate intelligence committee’s chairman, Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), was there, and it indicated, without naming them, the presence of then-Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.) and Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), the ranking members of the House intelligence committee.
About that Dick…I now have a whole host of new questions. As does emptywheel — why exactly was Cheney given the keys to the DOJ, anyway? And we are no closer to getting answers, are we?