The Senate Intelligence Committee has begun a preliminary investigation into the allegations that the Bush White House asked intelligence officials to gather damaging information on an outspoke critic, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) told The Lookout.
“The Committee is looking into this,” Feinstein said in a statement. “Depending on what we find, we may take further action.”
On Wednesday, The New York Times reported the claims of a former Central Intelligence Agency officer and intelligence official, Glenn L. Carle. Carle said that on two occasions he became aware of efforts to gather information on Juan Cole, a University of Michigan professor, influential blogger and vocal opponent of the Iraq war. Carle said that in 2005, his former supervisor at the National Intelligence Council told him the White House wanted to “get” Cole. The supervisor denies the claim, and other officials disputed Carle’s account.
Cole, for his part, wrote on his blog on Thursday that the story was a “visceral shock” to him. He called on the Senate and House Intelligence Committees to launch investigations.
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com