Intelligence chief defends Gonzales against accusations of lying to Congress

Intelligence chief defends Gonzales against accusations of lying to Congress

[JURIST] Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell [official profile] Tuesday defended Attorney General Alberto Gonzales against accusations of lying to Congress during testimony last week. In his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee [transcript] last Tuesday, Gonzales insisted that a 2004 disagreement between administration officials concerned another undisclosed intelligence program and not the domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive] called the "terrorist surveillance program." In a letter to Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa) [official website], McConnell said that the name "terrorist surveillance program" was not used until early 2006, making Gonzales' testimony technically accurate.

There were reports last week that a 2006 Director of National Intelligence memorandum contradicts Gonzales' testimony [JURIST report] on reauthorization of the surveillance program. In addition, FBI Director Robert Mueller last week contradicted testimony [JURIST report] given by Gonzales concerning the 2004 discussion of intelligence activities. Mueller testified before the House Judiciary Committee [hearing materials] Thursday that there was dissent within the administration concerning the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program, but Gonzales said that then-Deputy Attorney General James Comey did not express concerns about recertifying the program. It has also been reported that a 2004 FBI memorandum [JURIST report] contradicts testimony Gonzales provided in 2005 on renewal of the Patriot Act. AP has more.