A lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation has forced the Obama Administration to release documents that describe a purposeful deception of Congress by officials high in the Department of Defense. The possibly criminal coverup took place during the presidency of George W. Bush, in May of 2002.
The whistleblower from the Defense Intelligence Agency only disclosed the coverup to Edward Maguire an inspector general working for the Director of National Intelligence in October 2007. One month later, a rather lethargic Inspector Maguire sent a letter to General Claude Kicklighter, the Inspector General in the Department of Defense, requesting advice about whether Congress should be told that it was lied to. It is that letter that was declassified and released because of the EFF lawsuit.
It is not clear whether the Department of Defense directed Maguire notification of Congress about the deception, or whether the coverup continued. The letter indicates that the whistleblower had independently contacted Kicklighter a year and a half earlier, in May 2006, but it is suggested that the whistleblower had not heard back from Kicklighter or from Congress, which in turn suggests that Kicklighter probably had kept the deception of Congress a secret.
The letter reads:
“SUBJECT: Allegation of Misleading Congress
Dear General Kicklighter,
In October 2007, [CENSORED] a DIA employee in the Defense HUMINT Management Office, Policy and Plans Division, contacted my office alleging that in May 2002, in response to a Congressional inquiry, the Joint Forces Intelligence Command (JFIC) falsely reported information to its higher command pertaining to JFIC intelligence activities related to al-Qa’ida and the 9/11 attacks. According to [CENSORED] as a result of the JFIC alleged action, higher level DoD officials reported false information to Congress concerning JFIC intelligence activities. [CENSORED] indicated that he was personally involved in JFIC intelligence activities related to al-Qa’ida and the 9/11 attacks and had firsthand knowledge of the circumstances surrounding that alleged false reporting to the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Congress.”
Whatever could this “false information” have been, and why was it created in the first place?
Note that the activities that Congress was lied to about were “intelligence activities” – spying. Given what we know now about government projects during the Bush Administration to spy on American citizens for political reasons using both physical and electronic surveillance techniques, I think that Congressional hearings on the subject, open to the public, are called for.
The deception about the spying activities are described as related to the attacks of September 11, 2001 and Al Quaeda. Of course, the Bush Administration falsely asserted that all of its spying activities were related to the September 11 attacks and Al Quaeda, though we now know that almost none of the surveillance under the Patriot Act has been related to terrorism in any way.
This letter makes up just 2 pages of 162 pages that were released because of the EFF lawsuit. What other secrets are revealed in the other pages? More to come…