Friday, July 21, 2006

Hoekstra has been keeping his own secrets

* ITT:
" But for more than six months, (Hoekstra) has been keeping his own secrets—and someone else’s. On December 16, and again on April 25, former intelligence agent Russell Tice wrote Hoekstra, asking to testify before the committee about “probable unlawful and unconstitutional acts conducted while I was an intelligence officer with the National Security Agency and with the Defense Intelligence Agency.”

Hoekstra told the Times that the administration only briefed the House Intelligence Committee on a “significant” intelligence program after an unnamed whistleblower alerted him of its existence. Whether or not Tice’s are the programs to which he is referring, he has known for months that at least one former agent was concerned enough to step forward and testify about the agencies’ abuses and their failure to keep Congress apprised of their activities.
Tice has not been fighting his uphill battle to testify alone. Reps. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) and Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), respectively, chairman and ranking minority member of the House Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations, wrote to Hoekstra on March 6, saying that if he did not intend to investigate Tice’s claims, they would do so under their own jurisdiction. “The allegations made by Mr. Tice are very serious. We plan to investigate his claims as thoroughly as possible, but we would appreciate your input by March 10, 2006, before we proceed further,” they wrote. According to a senior staffer on the Committee on Government Reform, Hoekstra didn’t respond, nor did he tell them that he planned to have staffers meet with Tice. The staffer said that the subcommittee learned of the March 17 meeting from Tice himself.

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