Trying to find out the U.S. officials named in the NSA intercepts is going to be complicated and difficult — particularly because they are highly classified and also because the State Department and Bush administration are working over-time to try and prevent Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from seeing them.
There is no more important evidence in the John Bolton nomination than those transcripts — and it is my understanding, though I admit to not having complete information — that Senator Lugar’s staff is now getting stonewalled by the administration as well.
What I do have from a confidential and highly placed source is at least one name who appears in the NSA documents, and it is someone I had not previously considered.
Quite astoundingly, reports are that Governor Bill Richardson — who previously served as a Member of the U.S. Congress, as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and as Secretary of Energy — was named in the transcripts dealing with diplomatic efforts he was making with North Korea.
I suspect that Ambassador Charles “Jack” Pritchard, our previous envoy for negotiations with North Korea, is also part of the NSA intercepts package — but the Richardson revelation is new.
The mainstream press is going to have to do its own digging on this one, but there are sources out there who have some knowledge of the intercepts.
— Steve Clemons