Silvestre Reyes Announces Investigation into Violations of National Security Act
After careful consideration and consultation with the Ranking Minority Member and other members of the Committee, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence will conduct an investigation into possible violations of federal law, including the National Security Act of 1947.
This investigation will focus on the core issue of how the congressional intelligence committees and Congress are kept fully and currently informed. To this end, the investigation will examine several issues, including the program discussed during Director Panetta’s June 24th notification and whether there was any past decision or direction to withhold information from the Committee.
Three points about this.
First, Reyes says he consulted with Crazy Pete Hoekstra. I look forward to seeing how Crazy Pete spins this.
That’ll be particularly interesting given the scope here. The investigation will include the reported assassination squad. But the core issue is more general–how CIA informs Congress. Which means that, in fact, this should also include whether or not CIA fullly briefed Pelosi and Goss on torture back in 2002.
Finally, the investigation will examine whether there was any "direction" to withhold information from Congress. I do hope they look at the question generally, as well as in the context of the reported assassination squad, because I suspect we’d see a pattern of Cheney instructing the Counterterrorism folks to lie to or withhold information from Congress.
Update: Reyes (and Jan Schakowsky) also announced the appointment of Adam Lurie, formerly an AUSA in NJ’s USA office, as staff director for the Investigations Subcommittee (which Schakowsky Chairs). He’ll be the lead staffer in this investigation.
Good news, EW! Let’s just hope it doesn’t get derailed, and I’m sure that activity is already in the works.
Will the Committee have the resources and the time to do this right? I’d like to know this!
Check out my update–they’ve hired a former AUSA to be the staff director of the investigations subcommittee; he will have the lead on the investigation.
So what happens to Dick when the investigation finds that he ordered folks to lie/withold to congress? Another sternly worded letter?
We’ll get no satisfaction from congress on BushCo wrongdoing, Obama doesn’t want it pursued and too many senior members of both parties could be implicated.
We’re going to have to hope the courts come through on this one.
Boxturtle (Am I the only one worried that SS will back the BushCo expansion of executive power?)
Yes. There is no punishment for violation of NSA.
In that respect it is kind of like the toothless “Presidential Records Preservation Act”. Destruction of documents there doesn’t even get you a sternly worded letter.
There are criminal penalty provisions for violation of several sections of the act, just not this kind of violation, which has no penalty provision (and a weak remedial provision) as I recall.
What I’m wondering about is whether in an investigation of this sort, they will find criminal activity underlying the desire to not inform Congress. Will Reyes’ et al., then have the decency to refer that conduct to DoJ for prosecution? One would certainly guess that if the underlying activity wasn’t criminal, there would have been no need to hide it…
Reyes is kind of a wildcard, though he is close to Pelosi. On the other hand, Schakowsky, whose subcommittee will do this investigation, is joined at the hip with Obama.
So flip a coin.
Isn’t Reyes also tight with Rodriguez, possible torture tape destroyer? On the one hand, he might be inclined to let crimes slide, on the other he might have a reason to scrutinize Cheney to keep the heat off Rodriguez… Who knows? But I’m hard-pressed to trust anyone in DC these days…
No. That was an erroneous report.
Well that’s certainly encouraging! Thanks for clearing that up for me. So just for a few minutes, I’m going to go wallow in a bit of optimism (just for a change of pace ; )
Was that whole report about Reyes and Rodriquez erroneous, or just the part about them or other family members having some business relation. I thought the bit about them being friends and Reyes honoring him with some Texas luncheon or something were still valid. Is that wrong?
Got to run now, but this is the kind of situation, i.e. offenses for which no redress seems to be specified, for which Lawrence Walsh tried to use the fraud against the U.S. statute. In his Iran-Contra report he invokes some things suggesting that that was a suitable use.
But you have to tend to think that violation of the NSA is pretty much evidence of obstruction and/or conspiracy to obstruct Congress.
Are there criminal penalties for that? Jail time? Maybe the stocks in the public square… ; )
“There is no punishment for violation of NSA.”
And how weird is that??? Hello???
Congress oughta put some teeth in that.
Bob in HI
Why does all the good news come on Friday afternoons? Here’s hoping Reyes et al. does a thorough job and follows up with a public report of their findings…
You typed a few extra letters there, Marcy. The terrorism emanated from the OVP.
As with SSCI’s Review of CIA Detention and Interrogation Program, I’m guessing HPSCI’s review will be done under covers, and with no promise of public notification on the results, and certainly not on the details.
I guess a “Church Committee” style public review is just plain old-fashioned.
So much for “Open Government”.
Well, apart from the fact that some people may misread the post heading as something along the lines of: “Panic!! Sun to rise in West tomorrow; may set in Southeast!” it’s hard to know how this will go.
There are structural issues of which Cheney’s insolence is a symptom.
If they only stay at the superficial he-said, she-said level this will be a disaster. If they can get to the more structural issues, then maybe it’ll do some good.
I’m far from celebrating, but the fact that someone finally has enough cajones to open an investigation is a glimmer of hope.
Dept. of pedantry responds:
I think you mean cojones
And does “enough c[o]jones” mean 1, 2, or more?
Two should be sufficient, but one might suffice.
Bob in HI
who is thoroughly in accord with the sentiment
Ah. I stand corrected ;-))
And btw, a wee bit OT – I know bmaz was the firstest with the mostest on EFF’s Plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment (41 page PDF) last week on the Al Haramain v. Bush case, but I hadn’t yet seen the additional declarations and exhibits that EFF now has up:
Belew declaration (3 page PDF)
Eisenberg declaration (3 page PDF)
Exhibit A-I (44 page PDF)
Exhibit J-S (53 page PDF)
Exhibit T-Z (38 page PDF)
Exhibits AA-BB (58 page PDF)
Ghafoor declaration (3 page PDF)
Don’t know Lurie, but the idea of someone close to Pelosi and someone close to Obama running the show does not give me much hope. On the democrat side, those two seem the most interested in killing BushCo investigations.
Boxturtle (Obama has been upfront about his reason, at least)
Wayne Madsen published a very damning investigative report on Cheney’s extracurricular activities, and the 2 day hold has elapsed, so I am free to repost it. Don’t want to overwhelm this board, but I would like the FDL team to have this information. If you would like to verify the origin of this material, it is on a “members-only” section of the site (so I cannot just link to the piece), but the website is http://www.waynemadsenreport.com, and there is an email address to use to contact Wayne Madsen.
July 15, 2009 — SPECIAL REPORT. Cheney secret team involved saboteurs as well as assassins
Karen Kwiatkowski, who was a lieutenant colonel working in the same spaces as Luti in the Pentagon in 2002-3, writes about Israeli officers visiting Luti in his office at the time.
I haven’t read her site for quite a while, and found her archives on Lew Rockwell’s site.
It’s also come out recently that the Israeli handling of the Olympics assassins was a model for the Neocons like Feith and Wolfowitz…. Sheesh, “24″ and “Munich” is where these dolts get their best ideas….
As I recount in one of Emptywheel’s more recent threads, this kind of stuff by the Israelis didn’t start with the response to Munich. As Michael Karpin writes in The Bomb in the Basement: How Israel Went Nuclear and What That Means for the World (p. 207), in 1962-3, Mossad killed and intimidated a bunch of German scientists assisting Nasser’s missile program.
Interesting, thanks for that. It had occurred to me a couple days ago that the Iranian crash was a hit, especially after checking on the aircraft type (a Tupolev, not an Airbus which lately seem prone to problems).
And the death of Turkmenistan’s Saparmurat Niyazov looked iffy, particularly since there had been an ongoing dispute about gas pipelines between Russia and Ukraine putting Turkmenistan’s pipeline at a premium. At the time I leaned towards Russian involvement, will have to re-read past news stories.
Keep in mind the Po-210 hit on Alexander Litvinenko; has always been blamed on Putin’s allies, but now that we know about a bunch of other killers running around, who knows?
Hold on there…when did Turkmenbasi die? Do you have a link?
From the WMR thing I posted earlier…
Now that was some fascinating information. My suspicion was that the assassination squads were related to coups, but three of leaders of the “stans” dying in such circumstances is astounding.
thanks for the update!
There’s a piece in CQ dated yesterday evening about a controversy brewing between Congress and the Pentagon because DOD has refused to comment on allegations that Chicom agents were allowed to interrogate Uighurs held at Guantanamo. Lawmakers Probe Chinese Presence at Guantánamo.
Sounds like Crazy Pete may be on the right side on this one….he’s still angry about this:
Oh, wait. Maybe I did know Turkmenbasi died. *reaching back into vague memories*
I really hope people aren’t impressed by this announcement. It’s going to be a charade.
1. The committee will hold hearings, many/most in executive session because of “national security” concerns.
2. They’ll issue a final report saying that “procedures were not followed.”
3. They’ll say they have taken “bold and decisive action” to make sure this never, ever happens again.
4. They’ll stick the report in a drawer.
5. Twenty-five years later, they’ll do it all again.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and forever shall be, amen.
Yeah, that is about right.
I wonder if the investigations will show that the Decider had so much free time for bike rides and vacations because Cheney was really in charge? When Reagan left office, there were stories floated to show how he was more involved than he seemed. So far, no one’s telling such tales about the Decider. Perhaps pretending to be Reagan only gets you a brush ranch.
I just ran across this report which is a summary of all the last post and then some.
Now, if they would just do something about it.
Notice all of the plane crashes they set up. One has to wonder how many of them were brushed off as having been caused by “bad weather” like Wellstone’s was?
Or how about that computer guy who got a restraining order for Karl Rove because he was about to talk about election fraud? Plane crash.
Don’t forget all of the odd “suicides” of individuals that were a thorn in the side of the Cheney administration or were about to be a political embarrassment ( Jeanne Palfrey, Bruce Ivins, Cliff Baxter, James Hatfield, David Kelly, John Kokal, Gary Webb and others).
Jeanne Palfrey. That’s a good one.
Really, though, if Cheney and Bush weren’t so nefarious and secretive we wouldn’t be tempted to pin every odd death and disaster on their powers. I have to remind myself how incompetent they were at everything else.
They are blaming the crashes on the lack of spare parts for the US and Euro made planes because of the sanctions/embargo which forces them to use old, poorly maintained Russian planes for which they also have a hard time getting parts. Maybe, maybe not.
That’s quite a line of coincidences. The Iranians are suggesting these crashes are due to a lack of spare parts? It sounds like a face-saving way of denying that the U.S. and Israel are capable of penetrating their security. The Bushies bragged outright that they were going to send in covert teams to undermine Iran (why isn’t the World Court up in arms about that?) and it appears that they did just that. As twisted and wrong headed as that was, I’m even more concerned about the things that they *didn’t* brag about, particularly with regards to their domestic “enemies”.
from Yahoo news
Crazy Pete off his meds again.
And per the AP:
For however incompetent they were/are, the assassins that would be ordered to do their bidding are (theoretically, at least) professionals. When I reflect on the nightmare that was that administration, I can’t help but recall just how small and petty they were, with a sense of hyper-Nixonian entitlement (”If the President does it, it’s not illegal”). If one were to travel back in time two years and tell people about the things that have since been revealed, you’d be called a nutcase paranoid and laughed out of the room.
Given the things that are being uncovered, it has become prudent to assume (if one is going to make any assumptions at all) the worst about Cheney and company. Given the curiosities surrounding the cases I listed, it’s really just sensible to wonder why they are as curious as they are.
It feels like we’ve all just returned from the Twilight Zone.
Well, perhaps from one level of it. I suspect we’re still in it.
That is what we were doing two years ago and what we were called.
If you kill someone who needs killing, is that called really “assassination”?
Yes, because it begs the question, who determines that “someone needs killing?” You? Me? Pat Buchanan? Dick Cheney? Joe Biden? John Yoo? Greg Craig? Eric Holder?
Whomever makes that determination will surely feel they are justified in their belief that so and so is better off dead.
The ends do NOT justify the means, no matter how many times and ways folks might try to make the justification.
Cheney, Addington, Feith, and team