News From House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi
H-204, The Capitol, Washington D.C. 20515
Monday, January 3, 2006

Contact: Brendan Daly/Jennifer Crider, 202-226-7616

Pelosi's Declassified Letter on NSA Activities

Washington, D.C. - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi today released the following letter, which she wrote four years ago when she was Ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, and was recently declassified at her request. The letter to Lieutenant General Michael Hayden, then National Security Agency (NSA) Director, expressed concerns about NSA electronic surveillance activities and the authority for those activities. Pelosi also released the response letter from Hayden. Both Pelosi's letter and Hayden's response were redacted when they were declassified.

The text of letters follow and copies of the declassified letters are in attached documents:

PDF Version of Pelosi Letter

PDF Version of Hayden Letter

October 11, 2001

Lieutenant General Michael V. Hayden, USAF
National Security Agency
Fort George G. Mead, Maryland 20755
Washington, D.C. 20340-1001

Dear General Hayden:

During your appearance before the committee on October 1, you indicated that you had been operating since the September 11 attacks with an expansive view of your authorities with respect to the conduct of electronic surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and related statutes, orders, regulations, and guidelines. You seemed to be inviting expressions of concern from us, if there were any, and, after the briefing was over and I had a chance to reflect on what you said, I instructed staff to get more information on this matter for me. For several reasons, including what I consider to be an overly broad interpretation of President Bush's directive of October 5 on sharing with Congress "classified or sensitive law enforcement information" it has not been possible to get answers to my questions.

Without those answers, the concerns I have about what you said on the 1st can not be resolved, and I wanted to bring them to your attention directly. You indicated that you were treating as a matter of first impression, [redacted ] being of foreign intelligence interest. As a result, you were forwarding the intercepts, and any information [redacted ] without first receiving a request for that identifying information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Although I may be persuaded by the strength of your analysis [redacted ] I believe you have a much more difficult case to make [redacted ] Therefore, I am concerned whether, and to what extent, the National Security Agency has received specific presidential authorization for the operations you are conducting. Until I understand better the legal analysis regarding the sufficiency of the authority which underlies your decision on the appropriate way to proceed on this matter, I will continue to be concerned.



Ranking Democrat

18 October 2001

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Ranking Member, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
H-405, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative Pelosi:

Thank you for the opportunity to clarify any ambiguity that may have arisen as a result of my briefing on October 1 to members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

In my briefing, I was attempting to emphasize that I used my authorities to adjust NSA's collection and reporting. [redacted ]

Again, thank you for allowing me to clarify this matter.

Lieutenant General, USAF
Director, NSA

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