April 16, 2009

OKAY, I LINKED THIS NSA SURVEILLANCE STORY THIS MORNING, but here’s a bit that deserves more attention:

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.

So which member of Congress was it, and who was the “extremist” in question?

UPDATE: A reader emails: “Heh. According to DHS probably one of those right wing extremist Republicans….” Maybe even — shudder — a military veteran? Nah. If a Republican were involved, the Times would have told us.

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