25 January 2018

Devin Nunes and his memo

What to make of Devin Nunes' memo? There aren't many concrete details out there, but there are some interesting dynamics. Timing is one. Obviously, Nunes could have written the memo a while ago, but didn't until they passed the FISA Amendment Reauthorization with bipartisan support (65-34). Would have kicking up a dust made passing that harder? Certainly folks pick and choose their partisan issues pretty carefully, and it appears that the Fourth Amendment is the red-headed step child of the Bill of Rights in the eyes of most of Congress.

How is it that we don't know jack squat about it contents? Of course, we can guess and speculate, but not a dang detail has dropped. More than 200 Congresscritters have read it, yet no one has leaked a single nugget. Yes, it's classified and leaking classified information is a crime, but Congresscritters are not inured in the ways of handling classified information in the way that folks who work with it every day are. I am surprised that details haven't slipped out on background just by sloppiness. There are certainly broad shapes that could be plausibly leaked as speculation. That it seems likely that it will be declassified (perhaps with redaction), it's likely that the information is not a grave threat to national security, and shouldn't be classified in the first place.

If they're planning to release the memo, why don't they just do it? I've read they want to give the Whitehouse five days to veto the release, but the process could have been initiated last week. Why hasn't it been initiated and what are they waiting for?

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