Wednesday :: Jan 17, 2007

Bush Administration Decides to Use the FISA Court


by Mary

Since 9/11, the Bush Justice department has asserted their right to spy on anyone they felt like without any oversight. With the new Congress, the administration has realized that they can't fight Congress on everything. (After all, Bush still wants to assert his ability to start wars without anyone else having a say.) So one area they have backed down on is whether they can flaunt flout FISA when deciding to wiretap or intercept a person's phone calls or email. Today, Senator Carl Levin and Senator Arlen Specter received a letter that says the Justice Department would be using the FISA court to get approval for any domestic surveillance and that President Bush would not seek to extend the Terrorist Surveillance Program which had been passed by the Rubber-stamp Congress to allow him a fig leaf that he was spying on Americans legally.

Of course, the administration had the normal "the dog ate my homework" excuse for why they say they can now follow the law.

"The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has put together its guidelines and its rules and those have met administration concerns about speed and agility when it comes to responding to bits of intelligence where we may to be able to save American lives," White House press secretary Tony Snow said.

Yeah, right. I hope that Senator Levin asks what new guidelines have been put in place that addressed the administration's concerns because it's pretty obvious the original FISA court was pretty darn speedy in granting requests that came to them.

Mary :: 12:40 PM :: Comments (24) :: Digg It!