“House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi today released a letter written from herself to the National Security Agency in October 2001, as well as the response it received,” reports Raw Story editor/publisher John Byrne. “Both documents were recently declassified at her request,” Byrne adds.

“In the first letter, Pelosi expresses concerns over authorization of electronic surveillance by the NSA. The reply from Lieutenant General Michael Hayden, then National Security Agency (NSA) Director, was redacted … to the length of three sentences,” Byrne reports.

October 11, 2001

Lieutenant General Michael V. Hayden, USAF Director
National Security Agency
Fort George G. Mead, Maryland 20755
Washington, D.C. 20340-1001

Dear General Hayden:

During your appearance before the committee on October 1, you indicated that you had been operating since the September 11 attacks with an expansive view of your authorities with respect to the conduct of electronic surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and related statutes, orders, regulations, and guidelines. You seemed to be inviting expressions of concern from us, if there were any, and, after the briefing was over and I had a chance to reflect on what you said, I instructed staff to get more information on this matter for me. For several reasons, including what I consider to be an overly broad interpretation of President Bush’s directive of October 5 on sharing with Congress “classified or sensitive law enforcement information” it has not been possible to get answers to my questions. […]

I am concerned whether, and to what extent, the National Security Agency has received specific presidential authorization for the operations you are conducting … Read all at Raw Story. (Emphases mine.)

I checked the news archives to confirm other steps that Pelosi has taken. On December 19, Pelosi sent a letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert “requesting hearings on the issue and the appointment of a panel of outside legal experts to assist during those hearings.” Pelosi added that “Rep. Jane Harman, the Ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said the administration reversed its decision to brief the committee on the details of the NSA activities to which the president referred in his radio address.”

Rep. Pelosi joins Sen. Jay Rockefeller (see partial screenshot of original handwritten letter), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, in releasing previously classified correspondence … continued below …

From my December 19th story, “‘I Spy’ A Parade of Evidence of Crime“:


–Senator Releases His ’03 Letter to White House Raising Questions About White House Actions and Need for Congressional Oversight–

For the last few days, I have witnessed the President, the Vice President, the Secretary of State, and the Attorney General repeatedly misrepresent the facts.

“The record needs to be set clear that the Administration never afforded members briefed on the program an opportunity to either approve or disapprove the NSA program. …. Read all at the Senator’s site.

Rockefeller’s 2003 letter to Vice President Cheney:

His handwritten letter is there from July 17, 2003. (At democrats.org via Crooks & Liars)

Writes Crooks & Liars‘ John Amato: “He [Rockefeller] took the time to say he was keeping it stored in a secure space. Why did he write that? Did he think he would be sleeping with the fishes?”

NOTE: My December 19th story includes:

  • Murray Waas shares former minority leader Tom Daschle’s reaction (“the White House lied”):

  • Current minority leader Harry Reid has joined a bi-partisan call for investigation.

  • National Security Archive Update, December 19, 2005

  • A link to PRI/NPR’s “To The Point” program today, “Civil Liberties, National Security and Domestic Surveillance,” and
  • Digby on the Gonzales Press Conference Today and the “Efficiency Expert”
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