CHAIRMAN ROBERTS ISSUES STATEMENT REGARDING NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence today issued the following statement regarding an article that appeared in The New York Times February 27, 2004:
“Today’s New York Times article by Mr. Douglas Jehl entitled “Senate Panel Presses Bush on War’s Plan” is inaccurate. Last night, a senior member of the Committee’s staff responded to an inquiry from The New York Times reporter, who was seeking confirmation of the information that later appeared in his article. Mr. Jehl was told that his information was inaccurate. Further, he was told that the Chairman could not comment on the details of an executive session of the Committee, even though, apparently, someone else already had, albeit inaccurately.
“Here are the facts. On February 26, 2004, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence met in closed session. The Committee conducted a single vote to report out a bill (S. 2136) to extend the 9/11 Commission. This legislation, which was passed by the Senate today, would extend by two months the reporting deadline for the 9/11 Commission. This important vote was the first order of business at the Committee’s February 26th meeting, and rightly so given its importance to the Commission’s work. The Committee then continued its closed meeting. I cannot discuss the details of the Committee’s deliberations, but I can say that there were no further votes and no agreements on any specific timetables regarding the production of documents from any source. The Committee does, however, possess and will exercise its authority when necessary to compel testimony or the production of documents.
“I am very concerned about this irresponsible leak of information which appears to have produced the inaccurate New York Times report. This was a clear violation of the Committee’s rules. Unauthorized disclosures undermine the integrity of the Committee and display nothing but contempt for its rules. More importantly, such leaks make the American people lose confidence in our ability to conduct their business professionally and in a nonpartisan manner.
“These types of disclosures – in addition to being false – are unworthy of a member or employee privileged to serve in the Senate. They must stop.”