Bush's Spy On Americans Law FISA Modifications in PDF form as Discussed by Secrecy NewsSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


 

Bush's Spy On Americans Law FISA Modifications in PDF form as Discussed by Secrecy News
 


5 September 2007 at 10:05:47 AM
salon

from CRS.  I noticed a bit yesterday from a new book coming out from Jack Goldsmith entitled "The Terror Presidency" which, as discussed in an article in the NYTimes quotes Goldsmith about the FISA law and the attitude of the Bush White House.

In addition, he shared the White House’s concern that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act might prevent wiretaps on international calls involving terrorists. But Goldsmith deplored the way the White House tried to fix the problem, which was highly contemptuous of Congress and the courts. “We’re one bomb away from getting rid of that obnoxious [FISA] court,” Goldsmith recalls Addington telling him in February 2004.

In his book, Goldsmith claims that Addington and other top officials treated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act the same way they handled other laws they objected to: “They blew through them in secret based on flimsy legal opinions that they guarded closely so no one could question the legal basis for the operations,” he writes. Goldsmith’s first experienced this extraordinary concealment, or “strict compartmentalization,” in late 2003 when, he recalls, Addington angrily denied a request by the N.S.A.’s inspector general to see a copy of the Office of Legal Counsel’s legal analysis supporting the secret surveillance program. “Before I arrived in O.L.C., not even N.S.A. lawyers were allowed to see the Justice Department’s legal analysis of what N.S.A. was doing,” Goldsmith writes.

With this type of contempt and secrecy, why did Congress, with the help of people like Chet Edwards, pass the bill? It couldn't have WAITED until after their vacation, so that they could examine it and actually READ it and consider it, debate it, instead of rushing to gut the 4th amendment?

The legislation, dubbed the "Protect America Act of 2007," removed legal impediments to the interception of foreign communications that pass through the United States. But it also redefined the terms of the FISA so as to permit increased surveillance of communications involving persons in the United States while curtailing judicial supervision.

The new CRS report offers a careful reading of each provision of the Act.

But instead of fully clarifying its impact, the report serves to highlight just how unclear and indeterminate the new law actually is.

Thus, one provision "could conceivably be interpreted" to apply to parties within the United States. Another provision "might be seen to be susceptible of two possible interpretations." Still others "appear to" or "would seem to" or "may also" have one uncertain consequence or another.

In other words, the new law bears the hallmarks of its hasty, poorly considered origins.

The new CRS report may help to identify some of the questions that Congress will examine when it revisits the legislation next month.

I remind again that I think it was reprehensible that Chet Edwards voted for Bush's finger to the constitution (and by doing so, Edwards said he would put the constitution second over other factors- you can watch him here).


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