Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, who is now a fellow at the liberal think tank the Center for American Progress, has just released a statement accusing the Bush administration of withholding “key details” about the NSA surveillance program when it told him of the program beginning in 2002. But Daschle, who says he “raised significant concern” about the program, is vague about what “key details” the administration omitted:
Between 2002 and 2004, the White House notified me in classified briefings about NSA programs related to the war on terrorism. The briefers made clear they were not seeking my advice or consent, but were simply informing me about new actions. If subsequent public accounts are accurate, it now also appears the briefers omitted key details, including important information about the scope of the program.
Even with some of the more troublesome – and potentially illegal – details omitted, I still raised significant concern about these actions. As such, I am surprised and disappointed that the White House would now suggest that none of us informed of the program objected.
As a result of the significant legal and security concerns raised by the President’s actions, I believe it is incumbent on the President to explain the specific legal justification for his actions, for the Congress to fully investigate these actions, and for the Administration to fully cooperate with that investigation.