Monday, January 23, 2006

Unable to Get Support from Congress, the Attorney General Advised the President to Go Around FISA Anyway

The Attorney General, whose job it is to enforce the law, instead has found ways to work around it...

ADMINISTRATION CONTRADICTS ITSELF: The administration argues that, in addition to the President's unchecked power over anything he deems related to security, the power to conduct warrantless domestic surveillance was granted by Congress in 2001 through the Authorization for the Use of Military Force against al Qaeda. (Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) disagrees. Asked if the 9/11 resolution authorized the warrantless domestic surveillance program, Brownback replied, "It didn’t in my vote.") The administration's claims on this issue are not even internally consistent. On the one hand, the administration argues Congress gave them this power. But Attorney General Alberto Gonzales claims that the administration didn't go to Congress for the authority because Congress would have rejected them. At a press conference on Dec. 19, Gonzales said, "We have had discussions with Congress in the past -- certain members of Congress -- as to whether or not FISA could be amended to allow us to adequately deal with this kind of threat, and we were advised that that would be difficult, if not impossible."
Note that 'certain members of Congress' includes Republican Senators Specter, Graham, McCain, & Brownback. One question has yet to be answered simply by anyone in the administration: Why can't warrants be obtained, in accordance with the law?
Thanks for the link from Buzzflash

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