Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
The anti-whistleblower rule?
According to today's Washington Times, NSA whistleblower Russ Tice has been told that he cannot testify about what he calls illegal wiretapping of Americans by his former agency unless he first talks to probably the last person you'd expect to make sure the information is acted on in the public interest: Donald Rumsfeld. Says the WT:
Renee Seymour, director of NSA special access programs stated in a Jan. 9 letter to Russ Tice that he should not testify about secret electronic intelligence programs because members and staff of the House and Senate intelligence committees do not have the proper security clearances for the secret intelligence.

Miss Seymour stated that Mr. Tice has "every right" to speak to Congress and that NSA has "no intent to infringe your rights."

However, she stated that the programs Mr. Tice took part in were so secret that "neither the staff nor the members of the [House intelligence committee] or [Senate intelligence committee] are cleared to receive the information covered by the special access programs, or SAPs."

"The SAPs to which you refer are controlled by the Department of Defense (DoD) and ... neither the staffs nor the members ... are cleared to receive the intelligence covered by the SAPs," Miss Seymour stated.

Special access programs are the most sensitive U.S. intelligence and weapons programs and are exempt from many oversight mechanisms used to check other intelligence agencies.

Miss Seymour also said that Mr. Tice, who was dismissed in May, failed to notify either the Pentagon or NSA of the improper behavior that he is charging.

As a result, she stated that Mr. Tice must first give statements to the Defense Department and NSA inspectors general before he provides any classified information to Congress from the SAPs.

Miss Seymour also said Mr. Tice must first "obtain and follow direction" from Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, through the inspectors general on the proper procedures for contacting the congressional oversight committees.
Isn't that a bit like requiring Jeffrey Wigand to take his case to the president of Brown and Williamson before going public?

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posted by JReid @ 9:13 AM  
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"I am for enhanced interrogation. I don't believe waterboarding is torture... I'll do it. I'll do it for charity." -- Sean Hannity
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