"In his letter ... Senator Rockefeller asserts that he had lingering concerns about the program designed to protect the American people from another attack, but was prohibited from doing anything about it," Mr. Roberts said in a statement yesterday. "A United States Senator has significant tools with which to wield power and influence over the executive branch. Feigning helplessness is not one of those tools."Hmmm. Let some reporter ask Rockefeller if he did express support for the program "two weeks ago."
In his 2003 letter to Mr. Cheney, Mr. Rockefeller said the program raised "profound oversight issues" and he regretted that high security of the program prevented him from seeking advice on the matter. Mr. Rockefeller also told Mr. Cheney that he had made a handwritten copy of the letter, which he distributed to the press Monday.
If Mr. Rockefeller had these concerns, Mr. Roberts said, he could have raised them with him or other members of Congress who had been briefed on the program.
"I have no recollection of Senator Rockefeller objecting to the program at the many briefings he and I attended together," Mr. Roberts said. "In fact, it is my recollection that on many occasions Senator Rockefeller expressed to the vice president his vocal support for the program," most recently, "two weeks ago."
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Jay Rockefeller has publicized a letter that he wrote to Vice President Cheney voicing his concerns about the NSA surveillance program. Rockefeller said that he didn't feel that he had the expertise to evaluate it, not being a lawyer. Well, his colleague on the Intelligence Committee, Senator Pat Roberts, a Republican, challenges Rockefeller's version of events.
Posted by Betsy Newmark at 7:27 AM