Monday, February 06, 2006

"In flat violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act"

Arlen Specter, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, left little room for a gray area in his comments on the President's domestic eavesdropping program as reported in the New York Times:
The program "is in flat violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act," said the chairman, Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who will open committee hearings on Monday.
Spying on terrorists is hardly controversial and is permissible under current law. But Bush, Cheney and their allies will continue to claim that compliance with the law slows them down when they are in hot pursuit of the bad guys.
There are two problems with this line of argument: First, the current law can hardly be seen as an impediment; the law allows the the Justice Department to seek a warrant from a special court up to 48 hours after surveillance begins. Second, the Bush administration has had ample opportunity to change the law since 9/11, having had control of the executive and legislative branches for most of the last five years. If this program is so important, why not introduce a bill to make it legal?

1 Comments:

Blogger jason said...

I keep waiting for that "the emperor has no clothes!" moment. Maybe Specter has nudged his fellow senators a bit closer to it.

6:46 AM, February 07, 2006  

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