Senate to probe charges that Bush White House pressed CIA to dig up dirt on Iraq war critic
The Senate Intelligence Committee has begun a preliminary investigation into allegations that the Bush White House pressed intelligence agencies to gather damaging information on a prominent critic of the Iraq war.
"The Committee is looking into this," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who chairs the committee, told The Lookout in a statement sent Friday afternoon. "Depending on what we find, we may take further action."
Late Wednesday, the New York Times reported allegations by former CIA official Glenn Carle that the Bush White House had sought to have both the CIA and the National Intelligence Council (NIC) look for negative personal information about Juan Cole, a University of Michigan professor and Middle East expert who writes an influential blog, where he has voiced forceful criticisms of the Iraq war.
In a blog post Thursday, Cole had called for a congressional probe, writing that Carle's claims "come as a visceral shock."
U.S. intelligence agencies are prohibited from collecting information on the activities of American citizens inside the United States. "Obviously, it would be illegal for CIA to collect any non-publicly available information, derogatory or otherwise, on a U.S. citizen … simply because of that person's expressed political beliefs," John Rizzo, who was the CIA's acting general counsel during the period at issue, told The Lookout Thursday, adding that he had no recollection of being told about any such efforts. The CIA told the Times it never gathered any information on Cole.
But Carle claims that while working at NIC, he saw a memo sent by his supervisor to the White House, containing "inappropriate, derogatory remarks" about Cole. He also claims the supervisor, David Low, pressed him to gather such information.
Low has said he would not have been involved in such an effort.
Let me guess, this will take to about Aug/Sept. when a report will emerge showing that "Questionable" actives did take place, but they lack the evidence to proceed further on them for unspecified reasons. (In time for the elections) Where the media will run with it, and paint who ever is the GOP candidate as another Bush term if elected.