There are a lot of questions surrounding the May 17 letter
from House Intel Committee chairman Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) to President Bush, charging that the White House has kept Congress in the dark about certain spying programs.
One that grabs me: Hoekstra says
he found out about these programs through a whistleblower. But who?
I'm not the only person to note that five days before Hoekstra wrote his now-famous letter, NSA whistleblower Russ Tice -- James "State of War" Risen's source
for his NYT domestic wiretapping story -- told
inside-the-beltway pub Congress Daily
he was planning to tell congressional staffers "unlawful activity occurred at the agency under the supervision of Gen. Michael Hayden beyond what has been publicly reported, while hinting that it might have involved the illegal use of space-based satellites and systems to spy on U.S. citizens." (Hat tip to National Review online for mentioning
this on its media blog.)
I called Tice over the weekend, but he hasn't called me back. Of course, the stakes for him are high -- as CongressDaily's Chris Strohm wrote in May, "Tice would not discuss. . . the details of his allegations, saying doing so would compromise classified information and put him at risk of going to jail." He would say only that "It's an angle that you haven't heard about yet."
According to that piece, Tice was planning then to talk to Senate staffers (Hoekstra's committee reportedly failed to call him back). Did Tice wind up meeting with House folks after all? What did he tell them? Was he Hoekstra's source?