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Boehner Spills Classified Info On FOX News

Reported by Ellen - August 3, 2007 -

According to the Washington Post, House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) disclosed elements of (a secret court decision declaring a key element of the Bush administration's wiretapping efforts illegal) in remarks Tuesday to Fox News as he was promoting the administration-backed wiretapping legislation. Boehner has denied revealing classified information, but two government officials privy to the details confirmed that his remarks concerned classified information.

The WaPo article also says,

Commenting on Boehner's remarks, Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), the House Democratic Caucus chairman, said yesterday that "John should remember the old adage: Loose lips very much sink ships." But Kevin Smith, Boehner's spokesman, denied that the House Republican leader had disclosed classified information.

Any assertion that Boehner spilled secrets "is just plain wrong and distracts from the critical task at hand -- fixing FISA to close the serious intelligence gaps that are jeopardizing our national security," Smith said.

Smith said that Boehner's comments were based on a public, Jan. 17 letter to Congress by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, in which the administration announced that it would allow the NSA program to be reviewed by the intelligence court. That letter said that an intelligence court judge had issued orders "authorizing the Government to target for collection into or out of the United States where there is probable cause to believe" one of the parties is a terrorist.

But the letter referred only to "approval" of a government surveillance request and did not refer, as Boehner did, to the court's rejection of surveillance of specific foreign communications routed through the United States. The NSA surveillance at issue is part of a broader program authorized by President Bush shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said this week in a public letter that the order covered "various intelligence activities" that he did not describe. "The details of the activities changed in certain respects over time," he said.

Can you imagine if a Democrat did this?