Wyden: Bush admin didn't comply with law on intel briefings

The Bush administration consistently violated the law requiring the White House to keep the intelligence committees in Congress fully informed, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) insinuated Friday.

Wyden appeared on MSNBC to defend House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) claims that the CIA had misled Congress in its intelligence briefings, and alleged that the previous administration had failed to comply with laws on briefings.

"I can't speculate on what Nancy Pelosi was told at that time," Wyden said. "What I can tell you is there is a 1947 law that says all the members of the Intelligence Committee must be kept currently and fully informed, and the Bush administration consistently didn't comply with that law."

(A background on that law and congressinal briefings can be found here.)

Wyden sought to redirect some of the heat now on Pelosi against the Bush administration, accusing them of falling short in their obligation to members of Congress, including Pelosi.

Wyden said that some lawmakers had actually written the Bush administration as early as 2006 to register their displeasure in U.S. interrogation tactics, a letter which he said they hope to declassify.

The Oregon Democrat also said he agreed with former Vice President Cheney's demands that Bush-era memos on interrogation programs should be declassified.

"I will tell you, I find it hard to believe why the vice president is so convinced that those documents support his position," Wyden said. "But as far as I'm concerned, most of that information ought to be declassified so we can get beyond this 'he said, she said' business."