Truthdig salutes Rep. Peter Hoekstra, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who rapped Bush in a letter for not briefing Congress on various intelligence-gathering programs. Check out a video of Hoekstra publicly defending the letter on Fox News: “It is not optional for this president … or people in the executive community not to keep the intelligence committees fully informed of what they are doing.”

It’s refreshing to hear a Republican give praise to whistle-blowers (see the video and the quote below). Usually the GOP tries to shoot the messenger.

It’s also encouraging to see Republicans publicly scolding the president for his secret intelligence-gathering activities — even though we’d like to see them go further and call them outright illegal. We’re convinced by Glenn Greenwald’s arguments that in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Guantanamo decision, Bush’s programs are patently outside the law.

Crooks and Liars:

Hoekstra: …this is actually a case where the whistleblower process was working appropriately. Some people within the intelligence community brought to my attention some programs that they believed we had not been briefed on. They were right. We have now been briefed on those programs, but I wanted to reinforce to the President and to the executive branch in the intelligence community how important and by law–the requirement that they keep the legislative branch informed of what they are doing.

Wallace: Chairman, the President always says in these cases that congressional leaders– including you, as the chairman of the House intelligence–are briefed. How do you explain this failure and how serious do you take it?

Hoekstra: Well, I take it very, very seriously otherwise I would not have written the letter to the President.



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