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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 4/16/09

Let Us Have Some Fun! Take a Guess at the Identity of the 'Congressman' NSA Attempted to Wiretap

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The New Yorks Times' Lichtblau and Risen (who broke the original story last year tipped off by DOJ whistleblower, Thomas Tamm) revealed yesterday that the NSA attempted to improperly wiretap a member of Congress who was "part of a Congressional delegation to the Middle East in 2005 or 2006."  According to their article:

"And in one previously undisclosed episode, the N.S.A. tried to wiretap a member of Congress without a warrant, an intelligence official with direct knowledge of the matter said.

"The agency believed that the congressman, whose identity could not be determined, was in contact — as part of a Congressional delegation to the Middle East in 2005 or 2006 — with an extremist who had possible terrorist ties and was already under surveillance, the official said. The agency then sought to eavesdrop on the congressman’s conversations, the official said.

"The official said the plan was ultimately blocked because of concerns from some intelligence officials about using the N.S.A., without court oversight, to spy on a member of Congress."

As the blogsphere (here, here, and here) begins the guessing game, I thought I'd ask OEN members and readers to weigh in with their best guess...

So, which 'Congressman'* do you think Bush and Cheney wanted to get some bad 'goods' on bad enough to violate the legislative branch with an illegal wiretap?  After the who, feel free to venture into the why and how you think the information would be used?  Blackmail, prosecution, or a political hit job?  

I'll weigh in later in the comments section.  I don't want to bias the pool just yet.

Have fun.

* The article referred to the member of Congress as a 'Congressman' but may have been used to describe the collective body and not the specifc gender of the target.  Also'Congress' is assumed here to mean both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

List of Possible Congressional Targets:

(Last update: 4/16/09 at 4:10pm)

House of Representatives
Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam)
Mike Conaway (R-Tex.)
Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.)
Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.)
David Dreier (R-Calif.)
Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.)
Michael Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.)
Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.)
Melissa Hart (R-Penn.) lost '06 election
Doc Hastings (R-Wash.)
Kenny Hulshof (R-Mo.)
Darrell Issa (R- Calif.)
Edward Markey (D-Mass.)
Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.)
James McGovern (D- Mass.)
John McHugh (R-NY)
George Miller (D-Calif.)
John Murtha (D-Penn.)
Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
Collin Peterson (D-Minn.)
Jon Porter (R-Nev)
Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.)
E. Clay Shaw (R-Fla.)
Chris Shays (R-Conn.) lost '08 election
Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)
Dave Weldon (R-Fla.)

Senate members
Susan Collins (R-Maine)
Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.)
John McCain (R-Ariz.)
Barack Obama (D-Ill.)  current POTUS
John Thune (R-S.D.)

Please indicate in your comments any member of Congress who traveled to the Middle East in '05 or '06 who is not on the list above.   Thank you.

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OpedNews volunteer from 2005 to 2013.

Amanda Lang was a wonderful member of the Opednews team, and the first volunteer editor, for a good number of years being a senior editor. She passed away summer 2014.

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