“The White House Needs to Hire an Archivist”

WTF is the Administration doing, claiming it has briefed members of Congress on the warrantless wiretap program when it hasn’t?

After the domestic surveillance program was revealed in 2005, formerSenate Intelligence Committee Chairman Bob Graham (D-FL) said thatWhite House briefings that he attended in the Vice President’s office failed to disclose that the administration was spying on Americans:

There was no reference made to the fact that we weregoing to…begin unwarranted, illegal — and I think unconstitutional —eavesdropping on American citizens.

Shortly thereafter, Cheney fired back at Graham, arguing, “Well that’s not true. [Graham] knew.” The White House accused him of “misremembering the briefings.”

In a recent interview with ThinkProgress, Sen. Graham told us that,after the controversy erupted in late 2005, the White House providedhim with dates when they alleged Graham had been briefed. Graham saidhe consulted his famous spiral bound notebooks and determined he had not been briefed on these dates:

I mean, I’m not surprised they didn’t brief members of Congress fully (or at least, the Democratic MOCs). But why claim you had when you hadn’t? Particularly when one of them (as TP points out) is a notoriously anal note-taker?

Most interesting is the Administration’s claim that Graham was briefed on April 10, 2002, which his spiral notebooks also disprove. That’s because it was purportedly a meeting with just Graham, and no no one else, after they had briefed Pelosi (in her role as ranking member of HPSCI), Goss, and Shelby.

I’d be inclined to get Pelosi on the record to find out how many of these early briefings she attended. Because I find it curious that the current Speaker may have been the only Dem briefed on key aspects of this program in its early days.

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