Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) wrote in his recent memoir that as the Senate debated war in Iraq in 2002 he was given a tip about security information by two joggers that ended up influencing his vote on the war.
Leahy’s claims, first published in his August 2022 memoir “The Road Taken,” were highlighted Friday by journalist and historian Garrett M. Graff, who said the senator’s claims provided “a rare glimpse into the shadowy way that the intel agencies interact with Members of Congress.”
The Vermont senator, who was skeptical of the move toward war in Iraq, said in his book that he was contacted by two runners who told him to check specific intelligence briefings while out on a walk with his wife Marcelle.
“Two joggers trailed behind us. They stopped and asked what I thought of the intelligence briefings I’d been getting. Marcelle realized this was a conversation she would normally not be involved in and kept on walking ahead,” Leahy wrote.
He said that he was told by the joggers to ask for “File Eight” and “File Twelve,” both files which related to intelligence on Iraq.
“Quickly thereafter, I arranged to see File Eight and it contradicted much of what I had heard from the Bush administration,” Leahy claimed. The Democrat would go on to be on of 21 senators to vote against the authorization of war in Iraq.
He called the alleged encounter with the joggers the most “eerie” experience he had in Washington, D.C.
“It was the eeriest conversation I’d ever experienced in Washington. I felt like a sensational version of of Bob Woodward meeting Deep Throat — only in broad daylight,” he wrote.