" In a sharply worded letter to President Bush in May, an important Congressional ally charged that the administration might have violated the law by failing to inform Congress of some secret intelligence programs and risked losing Republican support on national security matters.
The letter from Representative Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, did not specify the intelligence activities that he believed had been hidden from Congress.
But Mr. Hoekstra, who was briefed on and supported the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program and the Treasury Department's tracking of international banking transactions, clearly was referring to programs that have not been publicly revealed.
"I have learned of some alleged intelligence community activities about which our committee has not been briefed," Mr. Hoesktra wrote. "If these allegations are true, they may represent a breach of responsibility by the administration, a violation of the law, and, just as importantly, a direct affront to me and the members of this committee who have so ardently supported efforts to collect information on our enemies."
Mr. Hoekstra's views on oversight appear to be shared by some other Intelligence Committee members.
"I think the executive branch has been insufficiently forthcoming on a number of important programs," Representative Heather A. Wilson, Republican of New Mexico, said in an interview. She would not discuss any programs on which the committee had not been briefed, but she said that in the Bush administration, "there's a presumption that if they don't tell anybody, a problem may get better or it will solve itself."
But the assertion that other intelligence activities had been hidden from Congress is particularly surprising coming from Mr. Hoekstra, who defended the administration's limited briefings on the N.S.A. program against Democratic criticism.
Mr. Hoekstra has been one of the strongest advocates in Congress for a crackdown on leaks of classified information to the media, a cause championed by both Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
But in recent months, Mr. Hoekstra has begun to express some disaffection.
Interesting. It's not obvious how the NYT got the letter (it was cc'd to josh bolton (sic), Hadley, negroponte):
"A copy of the four-page letter dated May 18, which has not been previously disclosed, was obtained by The New York Times."I hope it was leaked. Funny.
Hoekstra is on Sibel's Dirty Dozen list for being anti-whistleblower, yet this information came to him from outside the normal channels, presumably a whistleblower. Funny.
The NYT has a copy of the letter (pdf) - there's one very odd statement in the letter that didnt get in the article:
I am convinced that this politicization (of the CIA) was underway well before Porter Goss became Director. In fact, I have been long concerned that a strong and well-positioned group within the agency intentionally undermined the Administration and its policies. This argument is supported by the Ambassador Wilson / Valerie Plame events... I have come to believe that Mr Kappes may have been part of this group"Ummm. WTF? What is he talking about? The decision to send Wilson to Niger? The referral of the case to the DoJ? Wilson's op-ed et al? I can only presume that it's the 3rd option. Is he really claiming that a cabal at the CIA was behind Wilson coming out?
Remember, he is Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.