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Saturday, Jul 8, 2006, 6:11 pm

House Republican Peeved That Bush Has Kept Additional Programs Secret From Congress

By Brian Zick
Eric Lichtblau and Scott Shane for the NY Times report that Peter Hoekstra, GOP chair of the House Intelligence Committee, wrote "a sharply worded letter to President Bush in May" wherein he "charged that the administration might have violated the law by failing to inform Congress of some secret intelligence programs and risked losing Republican support on national security matters."

Hoekstra, who is described as "an important Congressional ally" who "supported the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program and the Treasury Department's tracking of international banking transactions" was "referring to programs that have not been publicly revealed."
"The U.S. Congress simply should not have to play Twenty Questions to get the information that it deserves under our Constitution."
Mr. Hoekstra's blunt letter is evidence of a rift between the White House and House Republican leaders over the administration's perceived indifference to Congressional oversight and input on intelligence matters. Mr. Hoekstra wrote that he had shared his complaints with House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Republican of Illinois, and that the speaker "concurs with my concerns."
"I think the executive branch has been insufficiently forthcoming on a number of important programs," Representative Heather A. Wilson, Republican of New Mexico, said in an interview. She would not discuss any programs on which the committee had not been briefed, but she said that in the Bush administration, "there's a presumption that if they don't tell anybody, a problem may get better or it will solve itself."

via HuffPo
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