Hoekstra blows the whistle
So there’s another secret U.S. intel program out there. This is hardly a surprise, but the fact that its existence has come to light thanks to a staunch Bush ally is a bit of a shocker. The secret program, which apparently isn’t warrantless surveillance or the SWIFT financial tracking program, was revealed recently to Rep. ...
So there's another secret U.S. intel program out there. This is hardly a surprise, but the fact that its existence has come to light thanks to a staunch Bush ally is a bit of a shocker. The secret program, which apparently isn't warrantless surveillance or the SWIFT financial tracking program, was revealed recently to Rep. Peter Hoekstra by a government whistleblower. Hoekstra then questioned Bush about it in a letter, writing that he was deeply troubled that the administration hadn't fulfilled its duty to inform Congress of new intelligence programs used in the war on terror. The House Intelligence Committee, of which Hoekstra is chair, has since received closed briefings on program details, but this is an about-face for a congressman who has criticized whistleblowers in the past.
There’s some speculation that Hoekstra’s whistleblower may be Russell Tice, an ex-NSA employee who’s been attempting to speak to Congress in recent months about secret intel programs. In a January interview, just a few weeks after the warrantless surveillance program came to light, Tice said the programs made public thus far are just the tip of the iceberg. But Tice says he doesn’t want those other programs to be made public:
In my case, there’s no way the programs I want to talk to Congress about should be public ever, unless maybe in 200 years they want to declassify them. You should never learn about it; no one at the Times should ever learn about these things. But that same mechanism that allows you to have a program like this at an extremely high, sensitive classification level could also be used to mask illegality, like spying on Americans.
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