Friday, December 16, 2005

Bush administration approved warrantless wiretaps on U.S. citizens

News is now out that the Bush administration, in 2002, authorized the National Security Agency to conduct eavesdropping (on international email or phone calls) against U.S. citizens without court oversight. The NSA's domestic surveillance is supposed to be limited to foreign embassies and missions, and to require court approval. This is not a power granted to the president by the U.S. Constitution.

This abuse of power has apparently been exercised against as many as 500 people in the U.S. at any given time. The NY Times reports that some NSA officials, to their credit, refused to participate due to their concerns about the legality of the program.

Note that the standards which the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court uses to approve wiretaps are already incredibly low (their decision algorithm is pretty close to "say yes to everything"), but apparently that was considered too great a barrier and it had to be bypassed.

Approval of torture, secret CIA prisons in Europe, kidnapping citizens of other countries and taking them to Afghanistan... apparently the Bush administration has no respect for the U.S. Constitution on the principles behind it.


Einzige said...

I predict that all right-wing pundits will immediately rise to the defense of the actions of the White House.

Keep an eye on Instapundit, The Center for Individual Freedom, The American Enterprise Institute...

(too lazy to provide links today. Sorry)

Einzige said...

What'd I tell ya?

It's all I can do to restrain myself from ad hominem attacks...

Power Line
Michelle Malkin (of course!)
Instapundit (like we're surprised)
Confederate Yankee

One would think that conservatives would be the first to defend the idea that constitutional protections are more important in times of crisis.

All I can say is that I'm happy Technorati doesn't read links in comments. Those blogs don't need any more ego strokes.

Einzige said...

Little Green Footballs is another non-surprise.

Einzige said...

Condi and Rove deny that any laws were broken with the spy effort.

Einzige said...

A better Instapundit link than the one provided above is here.

Einzige said...

Crooks and Liars has a video of Condi getting grilled about the wiretaps here.

Jim Lippard said...

CNN story on Bush's admission that he authorized the program and has re-authorized it at least 30 times and intends to continue to do so.

Arlen Specter says he will begin a Senate Judiciary Committee investigation into this program immediately.