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March 17, 2006
Early Morning Blogging

Isn't that just the way? I got to work an hour early this morning and sit down to to a little blogging before starting my work day...and I can't find that much to blog about.

Oh, the news is full of, well, news, but I haven't seen anything that really struck me.

Except maybe this.

Reprogramming the Infinite Loop: The NSA Spying Debate argues that the Bush Administration is conducting secret and illegal spying on USofA citizens because they claim that the FISA process is too slow/too limited/too whatever, but when Congress offers to rewrite the FISA law, the Bush Administration says they don't see any need for that.

They're spying on people, it isn't legal, and they don't care.

And don't miss the bit of proof on page 2 that demonstrates how the White House started concocting their 'defense' of their actions well after the crime.

The statutory argument is that the FISA law allows an exception to its procedures if the surveillance in question is otherwise "authorized by statute." The administration argues that the September 18, 2001 congressional Authorization to Use Military Force ("AUMF") against those responsible for the September 11 attacks is, in fact, a statute that satisfies this provision. However, not even the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee consider this to be a reasonable argument. As Arlen Specter said during the February 6 NSA wiretap hearings, "[the AUMF argument] just defies logic and plain English." In the same hearing, South Carolina's Senator Lindsay Graham told Gonzales that the administration's statutory argument was "very dangerous."

One other small problem: The administration's statutory argument appears to have been devised after the NSA program began. As it happens, it is premised in large part on the analysis of a Supreme Court detainee case (Hamdi v. United States) that was not even decided until 2004. Also, though the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel has released an unsigned 42-page paper, dated January 20, 2006, which purports to set out the administration's legal analysis, Attorney General Gonzales has refused to provide the Senate Judiciary Committee with any memos setting forth a legal analysis of the NSA surveillance program written before it began in October 2001. As Senator Patrick Leahy noted, Gonzales has even refused to say when the statutory argument was first devised.

Now I'm wondering just exactly when they started spying on us? They use 9/11 as the pretext for everything, although most of us have read by now that they were determined to find a pretext for invading Iraq long before 9/11.

It's a good article. You should read it.

I mean, it's nice to say that Congress should do its Constitutional duty but I think we can all see that's not happening and it probably won't happen until a million or two of us become better-informed and start creating a ruckus down the phone lines of our elected representatives.

Posted by AnneZook at 08:09 AM