Sen Patrick Leahy memoir offers eye-opening take on Intel deep state inner workings

Journalist and historian Garrett Graff, a former editor of Politico Magazine, served up an interesting take on the inner workings of deep state intelligence found in Sen. Patrick Leahy’s recent book.

According to excerpts from “The Road Taken: A Memoir,” an unknown intelligence agency was allegedly steering Leahy to information contradicting the Bush administration’s claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) — this being the basis for invading Iraq.

The interesting revelation here being what the Democrat from Vermont DID NOT do in response to being contacted by apparent agents.

In @SenatorLeahy‘s new memoir, there’s a wild story in it that I haven’t ever seen before—a rare glimpse into the shadowy way that the intel agencies interact with Members of Congress. It feels ripped from a political thriller movie…,” Graff tweeted:

“In the midst of the Iraq War debate, Leahy was one of the few Senators pushing back against the Bush admin race to war and the threats of WMDs. He’d been reading the classified intel that the Bush admin was providing to Congress and had real doubts that it justified war….,” Graff said. “The Sunday after he read the intel, he was out walking with his wife in his McLean neighborhood when ‘two fit joggers trailed behind us. They stopped and asked what I thought of the intelligence briefings I’d been getting.'”

“The joggers asked Leahy if the briefers had showed him ‘File Eight’? Leahy writes, ‘It was obvious from the look on my face that I had not seen such a file. They suggested I should and that I might find it interesting,” he continued.  “Leahy went back to the intel officers at the Capitol SCIF and requested ‘File Eight,’ and it contradicted what the Bush administration was saying publicly about the WMDs.”

At this point, one might expect Leahy to speak out about being contacted in such a clandestine manner, but he seems to act as if this is business as usual — and it was, at least for the short term.

“A few days later, Leahy and his wife are out walking in the neighborhood again and the same two joggers pass by, stop, and say, basically, ‘We heard you read Five Eight. Isn’t it interesting? Now you should ask for File Twelve’,” Graff tweeted, adding that Leahy explained to him this month that “File Eight” and “File Twelve” are pseudonyms for specific secret codeword names the joggers told him to ask for.

So, under the scenario presented, not only is Leahy being steered to information that could be harmful to the Republican administration but his own actions are also being monitored. One may think that might concern the Democrat but instead, he dutifully does as instructed.

And this is where it gets even more troubling,

“The next day, Leahy again goes to the Capitol SCIF and asks for ‘File Twelve.’ It again contradicts what VP Cheney was saying publicly. Leahy decides to vote against the war based on these secret reports and tips…,” Graff tweeted. “I asked @senatorleahy about this incident when I interviewed him at @bearpondbooks earlier this month, if he knew the joggers ever, and he said, ‘You don’t understand—I didn’t *want* to know who they were.'”

After posting the abbreviation for “too long; didn’t read,” Graff concluded: “Leahy ends up voting against the war because some corner of the intel world tracked when he was out exercising, intercepted him, and pointed him to secret intelligence reports.”

He plugs Leahy’s book and shared a link to purchase a copy, before posing a question: “I assume Leahy wasn’t the only targeted Senator? Might be worth asking other Senators who voted against the war, did they get visits from similar joggers?

The interesting point here is that Leahy waits until he has announced his retirement to tell the story. How often does this occur and are other lawmakers similarly targeted by whatever intelligence agency this might have been? And who’s to say that it was even a U.S. agency approaching Leahy?

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