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Aieieieie! The Dead Awake!!

I’ve been almost as skeptical of Silvestre Reyes as Chair of the House Intell Committee as I am of Jay Rockefeller as Chair of the Senate Intell Committee. Reyes approved of Ashcroft’s testimony on the FISA program–though Russ Holt thought thought the same testimony was a big long filibuster. Even after hearing from Ashcroft, Reyes bought Alberto Gonzales’ dishonest explanation for why his lies to Congress about warrantless wiretapping were not lies. And it was in Reyes’ presence that Mike McConnell got all blabby to the El Paso press.

But it appears even Reyes is getting fed up with all the bullshit coming from this Administration.

Dear Director McConnell:

At yesterday’s hearing before the Senate Homeland Security andGovernment Affairs Committee, Senator Leiberman asked you whether theso-called Protect America Act, which President Bush signed into law onAugust 5, 2007, facilitated the detection of the German terrorist plot.

You responded, “Yes sir, it did.”

This statement is at odds with information I have received.Specifically, I am told by senior American officials that U.S.assistance to German intelligence was based on collection under theForeign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), several months before itsmodification by Congress in August. Accordingly, the new law did notlead to the arrests of the three terrorist plotters, as you claimed.

While revising FISA may provide a tool that could enhance futureoperations, it was not in play in the Germany case. In fact, FISA,which you repeatedly claim is “outdated,” was precisely the tool thathelped disrupt this plot.

Members of Congress need accurate information from the IntelligenceCommunity, and I am deeply concerned that your comments may be usedimproperly. I therefore urge you to issue a public statementimmediately to confirm that the surveillance used to assist in thedisruption of German plot was collected pursuant to FISA before thepassage of the Protect America Act. [my emphasis]

That’s a letter from Reyes and a letter from Conyers, both calling "Bullshit!" on McConnell’s prevarications. Watching the entire history of the Bush Administration, I bet he’s surprised he didn’t get away with it this time.

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