Last night Karl Rove was on FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor where he appears to have confirmed that the Bush administration routinely hid information from Congress, because they believed that the legislative branch could not be trusted. Rove stated that it is dangerous to give Congress any information. This attitude sums up the secrecy of the Bush White House.
Rove said, “Well, because, look, it’s interesting. The CIA briefed Congress to this, I guess, in June. And the Congress immediately leaks it. That, itself is, a violation, I think, of several statutes and indicative of why it is so dangerous to give Congress information.”
He continued, “Remember, this is about according to The Wall Street Journal a program that was designed and for which people were trained, but a program which was never put into effect. And so Congress is saying we want you to — we want you to brief us. We, the left wing in Congress, want you to brief us on ideas you have. Not necessarily on programs that you executed.”
Notice Rove’s choice of words. He never denied that the Bush administration hid information from Congress, but instead tried to justify why the information was hidden. This is about as close to a public confirmation as the public will probably get out of Rove as he is staring down the possibility of multiple congressional investigations.
Rove’s idea that Congress doesn’t need to be briefed on ideas is in direct violation of Sec. 501 of the National Security Act of 1947, which states, “The President shall ensure that the congressional intelligence committees are kept fully and currently informed of the intelligence activities of the United States, including any significant anticipated intelligence activity as required by this title.”
All presidential administrations worry about Congress leading information, but this not legal justification for secret programs. Rove dodges the questions about the Bush administration violating their legal responsibility to brief Congress. Rove tries to blur the issue by making it about briefing the whole Congress. This isn’t about the congressional leaks. It is about the Bush administration not following the laws, and as the days pass, it is looking like an investigation will be necessary.