Bush may have broken law over intelligenceHard- hitting stuff.
Associated Press in Washington
Monday July 10, 2006
The White House kept intelligence activities secret from the lawmakers responsible for overseeing them until whistleblowers revealed the programmes, the house intelligence committee chairman said yesterday.
A Republican congressman, Pete Hoekstra, said he had been told about the secret programmes by whistleblowers and had asked the Bush administration about them, using codenames.Not briefing members of the house and Senate intelligence committees is against the law, Mr Hoekstra said. The committees were briefed after he complained.
My little game today has been to 'refresh' news.google to see who else, if anyone, ran with this AP story.
Here's a screen grab of Google News.
Apologies if you can't read it properly (click for a larger version) - but it reads that '14 hours ago' CBS published a piece with the same quote, and the Guardian ran the piece '5 hours ago' (the Observer is basically the Guardian)
5 hours after the Guardian was published, and 14 hours after the CBS article was published - no other newspaper has carried this wire piece.
CBS now has a different piece at the same URL - first 2 paras:
"(AP) The Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee says the Bush administration may have broken the law by keeping secrets over intelligence matters from the panel in charge.The eagle eyed among you will notice that CBS has changed their piece from : "is against the law" as per the version sent to Google News to "may have broken the law" which is the version they are currently running (at the same link)
Republican Rep. Pete Hoekstra says the briefings are required by law, and the failure to get one may have broken the law."
OK - we know that AP updates their stories, and the Guardian piece doesn't specify the source, so we aren't really sure whether Hoekstra said that it "is against the law" - but the AP has pretty sophisticated systems which must operate in near-real-time. The Guardian is still carrying their version of the story, as of time of writing, so this story was in the system for at least 14 hours - and yet it was only picked up by two outlets. What is wrong with this picture?
via rawstory, here's one quote from Fox News Sunday which may have been the source of the 'confusion':
"But I wanted to reinforce to the president and to the executive branch and the intelligence community how important, and by law, the requirement that they keep the legislative branch informed of what they are doing."You can see from the context that Hoekstra didn't say that it was illegal - he merely said that it would be illegal if the executive branch didn't tell congress, and that the executive branch didn't tell congress. got that?
In the meantime, the AP minions have (slowly) cleaned up their
I hate the AP.