Top Lawmakers Kept in the Loop on UBL from Day One
It was an amazing - exceedingly rare -- feat of silence on Capitol Hill, despite the fact the White House kept top, key Congressional officials in the loop on the operation to kill Usama bin Laden.
A senior government official tells Fox News' Trish Turner that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich, was "kept in the loop from day one on the job" as committee chairman in early January 2011 and "every step of the way" thereafter. Rogers and his Intel Committee staff director were briefed numerous times on the operation before it was successfully carried out, according to the source.
A senior Senate aide confirms that Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., was briefed repeatedly, as well, adding that CIA Director Leon Panetta called the senator Sunday night to tell her about the kill. Panetta was also in touch with Rogers directly, sources tell Fox News' Chad Pergram.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, and his Armed Services Committee Chairman Michigan's Carl Levin, are poised to speak to the press Monday. Reid was informed of the operation in a phone call from Vice President Joe Biden last night, according to his aides, but has been in the know for some time. Levin was also briefed, though it is unclear by who, but, "likely Panetta," says one senior Senate Democratic aide. Defense Secretary Robert Gates called Levin while the senator waited in an airport to return to Washington.
Hearings are expected to start popping up in committees like Homeland Security in the coming days. In fact, a previously scheduled House Homeland Subcommittee hearing will take place Tuesday about the "threat to the United States emanating from Pakistan."
"Many questions now remain about Pakistan," said subcommittee Chairman Patrick Meehan, R-Penn, in a statement Monday. "It is critical for Congress to better understand the myriad of counterterrorism and intelligence issues regarding Pakistan so that we can better secure our homeland."