Monday, December 19, 2005

Jay Rockefeller to the VP

From The Talking Points Memo DOCUMENT COLLECTION:

July 17, 2003

Dear Mr. Vice President,

I am writing to reiterate my concerns regarding the sensitive intelligence issues we discussed today with the DCI, DIRNSA, Chairman Roberts and our House Intelligence Committee counterparts.

Clearly, the activities we discussed raise profound oversight issues. As you know, I am neither a technician nor an attorney. Given the security restrictions associated with this information, and my inability to consult staff or counsel on my own, I feel unable to fully evaluate, much less endorse these activities.

As I reflected on the meeting today, and the future we face, John Poindexter's TIA project [Total Information Awareness, a massive domestic surveillance and database program at the Pentagon, scuttled by Congress thanks to civil libertarian concerns -TfK] sprung to mind, exacerbating my concern regarding the direction the Administration is moving with regard to security, technology and surveillance.

Without more information and the ability to draw on any independent legal or technical expertise, I simply cannot satisfy lingering concerns raised by the briefing we received.

I am retaining a copy of this letter in a sealed envelope in the secure spaces of the Senate Intelligence Committee to ensure that I have a record of this communication.

I appreciate your consideration of my views.

Most respectfully,
Jay Rockefeller [signed]
The entire two page document was hand-written on SSCI stationery.

Senator Roberts's office never returned my request for comment. Hopefully someone else will have better luck.