Friday, January 19, 2007

Bush Blinks on Illegal Spying

Bush Blinks on Illegal Spying Don't let him off the Hook By DAVE LINDORFF

In at least one area, President Bush is on the run and Congress should run him to ground. The issue, which should be of concern to Democrats, Republicans and independents alike, is illegal spying on Americans by the National Security Agency. Back in 2005, the New York Times (after unconscionably holding the story for a full year) exposed the fact that Bush, in late 2001, had authorized the NSA to illegally begin a wide-ranging program of monitoring the phone calls and internet communications of Americans in direct violation of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

That act had been passed by Congress in 1978 precisely because of a similar spying program authorized by President Richard Nixon. It had turned out Nixon was using the NSA illegally to spy on political opponents both outside and inside his own administration. Last year, a federal judge determined, in a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, that Bush's actions had been illegal, violating both FISA (a felony), and the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

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