Gang of Eight in the news again

I had forgotten it was the product of an executive order.

This is the version published to DailyKos. It got a total of six comments at the time.

What Did Nancy Know and When Did She Know It?

According to a report in Rawstory fromWhite_House__0811.html, on October 5th, 2001 the President of the United States issued an executive order to his cabinet and intelligence agencies restricting the dissemination of “sensitive information” about the war on terror to just eight members of Congress.


October 5, 2001

SUBJECT; Disclosure to the Congress

As we wage our campaign to respond to the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, and to protect us from further acts of terrorism, I intend to continue to work closely with the Congress. Consistent with longstanding executive branch practice, this Administration will continue to inform the leadership of the Congress about the course of, and important developments in, our critical military, intelligence, and law enforcement operations. At the same time, we have an obligation to protect military operational security, intelligence sources and methods, and sensitive law enforcement investigations. Accordingly, your department should adhere to the following procedures when providing briefings to the Congress relating to the information we have or the actions we plan to take:

(i) Only you or officers expressly designated by you may brief Members of Congress regarding classified or sensitive law enforcement information; and
(ii) The only members of Congress whom you or your expressly designated officers may brief regarding classified or sensitive law enforcement
information are the Speaker of the House, the House Minority Leader, the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, and the Chairs and Ranking
Members of the Intelligence Committees in the House and Senate.

This approach will best serve our shared goals of protecting American lives, maintaining the proper level of confidentiality for the success of our military, intelligence, and law enforcement operations, and keeping the leadership of the Congress appropriately informerd about important developments. This morning, I informed the House and Senate leadership of this policy which shall remain in effect until you receive further notice from me.

(Signed) George Bush

As best I can determine, the relevant people at that point in time were Hastert, Gebhardt, Daschle, Lott, Graham of Florida, Shelby, Goss and Pelosi.

If the policy has not been rescinded, then the current people in the loop, so to speak, are Hastert, Pelosi, Reid, Frist, Roberts, Rockefeller, Hoekstra and Harman.

Which, at least in my mind, raises the question whether the current “gang of eight” are aware of their special position and, more importantly, whether the original group, of which only Hastert and Pelosi have survived, considered that if they were the only ones entitled to accurate “intelligence,” then any information presented to the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate, for example, was likely to be bogus.

Indeed, we already know that, if the Sy Hersh report of a September 24, 2002 meeting of the Foreign Relations Committee receiving information about yellow-cake transactions between Iraq and Niger is accurate, the Committee got bogus information.

Since it’s highly unlikely that we could expect a straight answer from Hastert, the only person in a position to address this matter would seem to be our own Nanci Pelosi. So, the question I would ask is whether she was aware of being singled out to provide cover for the Administration’s secret agenda (it’s possible that she overlooked the President’s notification) and, if so, on what basis she assented to the argument that the normal checks on the executive should be circumvented in this manner.

A “government by the people” cannot survive if all but eight of the people’s representatives are excluded from the decision-making process.

In any event, if the report of the executive order of October 5, 2001 is accurate, it would seem that what we have here is evidence of a coup by executive order, the negation of the principle of checks and balances with the stroke of a pen.

The rawstory page for the posted link cannot be found. It is because I was aware early on that reports of sensitive matters are “disappeared” on the internet that I preserved some here on the blog.