Monday, December 19, 2005

The former Senate Majority and Minority leader, Tom Daschle, says tonight in a statement that the White House “omitted key details” from him related to the NSA interception program, directly contradicting statements by President Bush that Congress was fully informed. Expect the congressional notification issue to get major play in tomorrow’s newspapers, and in coming days, as other members begin to more publicly discuss what they were and were not told.

For now, here is the full text of Daschle’s statement tonight:

Between 2002 and 2004, the White House notified me in classified briefings about NSA programs related to the war on terrorism. The briefers made clear they were not seeking my advice or consent, but were simply informing me about new actions. If subsequent public accounts are accurate, it now also appears the briefers omitted key details, including important information about the scope of the program.

Even with some of the more troublesome - and potentially illegal - details omitted, I still raised significant concern about these actions. As such, I am surprised and disappointed that the White House would now suggest that none of us informed of the program objected.

As a result of the significant legal and security concerns raised by the President's actions, I believe it is incumbent on the President to explain the specific legal justification for his actions, for the Congress to fully investigate these actions, and for the Administration to fully cooperate with that investigation.

No comments: