Monday, January 23, 2006

In The News - Jan. 23

Democrats to press Bush on domestic spying - 23 Jan 2006 at 9:00am - WASHINGTON -- Several lawmakers said Sunday they will press President Bush to justify his decision to allow domestic eavesdropping, rebuffing GOP suggestions their criticism of broad executive authority puts the nation at risk.

White House steps up defense of domestic spying ( - 23 Jan 2006 at 7:16am - - The White House launches a political campaign this week, not for a candidate but for a controversial program: warrantless surveillance of some U.S. citizens by the National Security Agency.

Former NSA chief says surveillance limited - 23 Jan 2006 at 11:40am - WASHINGTON -- In a wide-ranging defense of the National Security Agency's controversial surveillance program, the government's No. 2 intelligence official said Monday that the spy agency's operations are not a drift net over U.S. communities.

US judge orders release of detainees' names - Mon Jan 23, 2006 9:28 PM - NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge made a final ruling on Monday for the Pentagon to release the names of detainees at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Jury orders reprimand, no jail for soldier - 23 Jan 2006 at 11:15pm - FORT CARSON, Colo. -- A military jury on Monday ordered a reprimand but no jail time for an Army interrogator convicted of killing an Iraqi general by stuffing him headfirst into a sleeping bag and sitting on his chest.

Bush defends 'terrorist surveillance' - 23 Jan 2006 at 11:15pm - MANHATTAN, Kan. -- President Bush pushed back Monday at critics of his once-secret domestic spying effort, saying it should be termed a "terrorist surveillance program" and contending it has the backing of legal experts, key lawmakers and the Supreme Court.


"It's amazing that people say to me, 'Well, he's just breaking the law.' If I wanted to break the law, why was I briefing Congress?" asked Bush.
Whether or not the bypassing itself of the FISA court was legal, Bush has apparantly broken the law by choosing to brief only selected members of relevant congressional committees, rather than the full committees. I guess some people are just easily amazed.


Back in Washington, Gen. Michael Hayden, the former National Security Agency director who is now the government's No. 2 intelligence official, contended the surveillance was narrowly targeted. He acknowledged that the program established a lower legal standard to eavesdrop on terror-related communications than a surveillance law implemented in 1978.

Hayden maintained that the work was within the law. "The constitutional standard is reasonable. ... I am convinced that we are lawful because what it is we are doing is reasonable," he said at the National Press Club.
I've a hunch that the law that provides for the FISA-court oversight of domestic-surveillance operations is meant to ensure "reasonableness" by leaving the determination of such up to an independent entity, through the warrant-application-and-approval process, rather than leaving the determination to Hayden himself, or to Bush. At least that would seem reasonable to me.

National security vs. whistle-blowing - Protections erode for those who allege governmental wrongdoing - especially if going public risks state secrets. - January 24, 2006 - NEW YORK – Former intelligence officer Russ Tice wants to tell Congress about what he believes were illegal actions undertaken by the National Security Agency in its highly sophisticated eavesdropping programs. But he can't. He's been warned by the NSA that the information is so highly classified that even members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees - who are charged with overseeing the work of the intelligence community - don't have clearance to hear about them. If Mr. Tice talks at the hearings early next month, he could face criminal prosecution.


Post a Comment

<< Home