"Tice May Not Be Hoekstra's Whistleblower
Who got House Intel Chair Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) hot and bothered over secret intelligence programs?
Earlier, I guessed it may be Russ Tice. But I've been doing some thinking -- and I just talked with Tice. Now, frankly, I'm not so sure. (Tice thinks he could be, but he doesn't know either.)
Here are a couple reasons I'm leaning away from Tice: First, he says he never told Hoekstra anything.
Tice met with Hoekstra's staff in early April -- and it didn't go well. "They had a lawyer there, and the lawyer said, 'If you tell us anything at the SAP [highly-classified Special Access Program] level you could be arrested,'" Tice recalled. "The rest of the meeting comprised of them twisting my arm trying to get me to tell them everything." (Tice declined.)"
So who got Hoekstra so exercised? And what did they tell him?
And perhaps more importantly, why is it coming out now? Hoekstra's letter was made public after the administration briefed him on whatever secret programs he wanted to know about. Why did the letter come out now -- and why, if it wasn't supposed to be public, did he appear on Fox News Sunday to talk about it?
Update: Confirmed -- National Review says no dice on Tice.
"Now another candidate has stepped forward: Dave Gaubatz. Gaubatz, a former Air Force special investigator who worked as a civilian employee in Iraq, has volunteered that he's the "whistleblower."clear as mud.
TPMm readers should be familiar with Gaubatz as the man who Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) wanted to lead his great adventure to find the WMD himself in Iraq.
Gaubatz told me that the program Hoekstra referenced Sunday, the "major" activity the Intelligence Committee wasn't briefed on, is a Defense Department program run out of the Air Force Research Lab. Gaubatz said that there were “several programs” there that the Congressman wasn't aware of, but “one major program” in particular. He wouldn't give too many details about the program, but said that "it pertains to WMD and ways to move the WMD."
The timing also fits. On February 16th this year, Gaubatz says he briefed Hoekstra's staff, and then the Congressman himself on May 4th, two weeks before Hoekstra wrote his letter. He told them about the location of the four WMD sites and also the existence of the Air Force's WMD program.
Gaubatz said he "was really stunned they weren't aware" of the program, and then put them in touch with the official at Kirtland Air Force Base who could confirm the program's existence, a two star general. He said they then confirmed it."