Why Senator Roberts Made This Mistake. . .<em>TWN</em> Learns More


Ok. . .A legitimate question might arise as to why Senate Select Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts would behave so rudely and presumptiously towards his colleagues, Democrat or not, in this inquiry into the names of U.S. officials on the NSA intercepts.
TWN has learned how the idea was hatched.
A senior level Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff person who has been a key player in the NSA intercepts battle was racing off to catch a plane scheduled to leave on a foreign trip with this person’s Senator during recess. This person literally bumped into a top aide to Senator Roberts on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and the SFRC staff member said to the SSCI staffer that the Committee was considering submitting a roster of names of “individuals of interest” to the administration. The SSCI staffer began to ask lots of questions about where thing stood, and the SFRC staffer said, “READ THE MINORITY REPORT” on Bolton.
Well, it seems that the SSCI staff member just began to read through and picked out names — thinking that was what the SFRC was going to do — and then coached Senator Roberts to take this track.
It made no sense because all but one of the names selected by Roberts’ staff to check against the NSA’s list would never have been suggested by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee minority staff. They would not have fit the criteria that Bolton himself had indicated as to his interest in the names of various U.S. officials.
So, the Intel Committee staffer misunderstood — and gave the misunderstanding a significant vehicle — which just made his own boss look poorly informed and out of touch with the Bolton investigation.
THE IMPORTANT THING, however, is that some good has come from this error. Senator Roberts has now established the precedent that running names by the Director of National Intelligence is a legitimate way to proceed. It would be very easy now to check against the list.
I wonder if Roberts knows that he has now opened the door — far and wide — for further investigation now?
— Steve Clemons