The AP reports that a four-page memo sent by then-National Intelligence Director John Negroponte in May 2006 confirms that a March 2004 White House intelligence briefing for top congressional leaders was on “the Terrorist Surveillance Program.”
The revelation is significant because just yesterday Alberto Gonzales testified that the White house briefing was about “other intelligence activities.”
“The dissent related to other intelligence activities,” Gonzales testified at Tuesday’s hearing. “The dissent was not about the terrorist surveillance program.”
“Not the TSP?” responded Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y. “Come on. If you say it’s about other, that implies not. Now say it or not.”
“It was not,” Gonzales answered. “It was about other intelligence activities.”
ThinkProgress obtained the document, which confirms the accounts of Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) and Sen. John Rockefeller (D-WV), who claimed the briefings they received were about the administration’s NSA domestic surveillance program. Negroponte lists all the lawmakers who attended “briefings on the Terrorist Surveillance Program,” including the eight lawmakers who attended the March 10, 2004 meeting.
Gonzales’ misleading response appears to be an effort to resolve discrepancies with his earlier statements. In Feb. 2006, Gonzales testified that “there has not been any serious disagreement” about the warrantless spying program conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA). Testimony by former Deputy Attorney General James Comey proved there were indeed serious disagreements when the administration tried to seek legal approval for the spying program in 2004.
Instead of settling the contradictions in his testimony, Gonzales is simply compounding his problems by continuing to mislead Congress. MSNBC’s David Shuster reported tonight that “this is a really, really big deal and a big problem for Gonzales. … The legal expert I talked to tonight said this is a clear case of perjury.” Watch it:
Read the full memo HERE.