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If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Senator Rockefeller's Legal Problem

Ref Rockefeller says he's going to clean things up.

Self-inspections don't work, Senator.

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Remember the memo the Senator locked away? He though it was a get out of jail free card. Problem is, once he had a concern about a legal matter, he had the legal option to provide that classified concern to the US Attorney's office for investigation.

Regardless whether he though the majority was or was not doing something, a ranking member of the Committee has the power to forward information to the appropriate inspector general for investigation.

___ After the Senator documented his concerns with the FISA-NSA information, what memoranda did he provide to the US Attorney?

___ Where is the memoranda from Rockefeller to the DoJ, CIA or NSA inspector general related to his concerns?

___ Can the Senator, despite his concerns, not account for the reasons that the US Attorney General did not respond to him in writing a detailed discussion of the Title 28 and Title 50 planned violations?

___ Which Congressional staffers were involved in the legal review of the various classified activities during the briefings?

___ What was the legal basis for the Senator to have concerns with the information provided to the committee, prompting him to document his concerns?

___ Was the Senator ever in a position to provide his concerns related to DoJ or Congressional staff counsel performance to the Parliamentarian?

___ Does Senator Rockefeller, despite his documented concerns with the legal issues, not have an explanation why he did not privately discuss this issue with the Majority Leader Pelosi?

___ Once the Senator had concerns about the legality of the program, what effort if any did he make to see that illegal appropriations were shut down; or that the Article 1 Section 9 requirements -- that funds only be used for legal activity -- were appropriately documented and forwarded to the CIA, DoD, NSA, and DOJ Inspector Generals for review?

___ Despite the Senators concerns with the legality of the issues, does the Senator not have an explanation why, despite the potential legal issues, he cannot provide any evidence showing that he followed up with the Attorney General on the planned Title 28 and Title 50 violations?

___ How does the Senator reconcile his "concern" about the legality of the NSA-FISA violations; but he can provide us with nothing to show he did all he cold to get the Attorney General to provide a memo on the planned Title 28 and Title 50 violations?

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The same pattern of conduct in re FISA-NSA violations is also behind the Iraq WMD report:

- Supposed concern, but a failure to document the information;

- Supposed concern over the legal issues, but no compelling record showing the Senator aggressively followed up to explore the Title 28 and Title 50 violations with the Attorney General.

Overall, his story isn't adding up. He claims he was concerned, but his actions doesn't suggest that he fully asserted his oath to ensure the US Attorney, Attorney General, DoJ OPR, or the agency inspector generals were appropriately involved with the investigation. Surely, upon learning that the DOJ OPR had blocked DoJ Staff counsel from cooperating with the NSA-violation-investigation, Rockefeller would have forwarded this concern, as minority leader, to the US Attorney.

___ Where's the memo to the US Attorney?

___ How an Rockefeller justify confidence he did his moral best without this documentation, letter, or memoranda to the US Attorney, inspector General as he had the power to do?

___ How many other options -- as a ranking member on the committee, did Rockefeller not use

___ What's to say that the Senator, upon having disclosed that he did not do all he could, should be expected to suddenly start doing more?

___ The Senator didn't use his powers as Minority Member to aggressively follow the issue; why should we believe he'll use all his powers at Chairman?

___ What concerns did Rockefeller have if his alleged support for the "refusal to prevent illegal activity" resulted in a war crimes indictment against the Senator for failing to do all that he could to (a) shut down illegal funding for things violating Article 1 Section 9; (b) document his concerns to the IG and US attorneys; and (c) Ensure that the illegally-classified information was disclosed for what it was: Unlawful activity, and evidence that could not be lawfully classified?

___ Which failures should have been reported by Senator, but were not? Ref

___ What is the explanation for there being no review of Executive Office Actions, as required under Title 28? Ref

___ What is the defense of the Parliamentarian, whose job is to appoint competent attorneys to the Congressional staff: Was there no communication between any of the Congressional staff to Rockefeller thwart prompted him to write the memo, and lock it in the safe? Ref

___ Look at section (h) duties: What is the explanation for not removing Congressional Staff counsel who were not doing their job: Educating the members of Congress of their legal duties -- Does the Senator have an explanation why, despite his concerns with the communication, that there's nothing before us to suggest that the Congressional staff counsel were appropriately disciplined? Ref

___ Where are Rockefeller's comments on his concerns with the report filed with the Congressional leadership: If there remains genuine a mess to clean up in the Senate Intelligence Committee, surely he could point to some documentation showing he disagreed with the required reports from the Senate Intelligence Committee to the Congressional leadership. Ref

___ Does the Senator have any plan, in November-December 2006 to compel the Majority Party to do what it should; if he's not willing to take action now, and use his power as Ranking member, why should we believe he'll be in a position to do something when he's busier as Chairman; what's stopping him from acting now in 2006 based on the powers he currently has to document his concerns to the US Attorney, Inspector Generals, and get the Attorney General to comment on the Title 28 and Title 50 reporting issues? Ref

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As Ranking Member, his performance wasn't stellar. Why expect anything else when he has the power?