Question: NSA Spying and Congressional Testimony

Background: As you are probably aware, blogger Glen Greenwald recently uncovered damning information about the Bush administration's warrantless syping. Basically, lead lawyers at the DOJ testified to Congress in 2002 that lowering the "legal standard" for warrantless FISA wiretapping was not necessary because a) the FISA law was working fine, and b) lowering the legal standard was of constitutional dubiousness.

The question then arises: was the DOJ lawyer (James A. Baker -- not THAT James Baker, another one) LYING to congress? or was he in the dark about what the Bush? admin was doing with illegal wiretapping?

The question gets even murkier: as WaPo reported yesterday that the written statement of Baker archived on record at numerous public websites, includiing the Federation of American scientists is different from the one published by the Senate committee on intelligence (PDF).

As the WaPo writes:

"Confusion over the issue deepened further yesterday after officials discovered two versions of a Justice statement on the legislation. One, which was posted on the Federation of American Scientists Web site and quoted in media reports, noted possible constitutional concerns. The other, held by the Senate intelligence committee, did not include that issue. Officials could not explain the disparity."

So, there are several questions:

  1. How are written statements entered into the government record? Who enters them? Who catalogs them?
  2. Are there often times when something like this happens, where there are, as FAS notes on its website "The version of this Statement that was published by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence does not include several key paragraphs of Mr. Baker's discussion of Senator DeWine's bill S. 2659 that are presented below. The reason for this discrepancy is currently unknown, but it appears that two versions of the Statement were prepared and circulated at the July 31, 2002 hearing. --Steven Aftergood" Are there usually TWO statements circulated at a hearing?
  3. Basically, I'm hoping someone at RR can use their knowledge of how this all works, and especially how testimony and statements are recorded and archived, to tell me whether the "two written testimony's" is just a weird glitch or ANOTHER deliberate attempt to mislead and actually lie to congress flat out-- and is this proof?

I'm hoping to blog about this ASAP, so help appreciated.

thanks rr!