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Tuesday, August 8th 2006

Let's Not Bicker About Who Blocked Who…

I’ve been getting my boxers in a wad over some civil liberty violations. Beyond the EFF effort at suing At & T over the NSA survelliance program. You should support them,


I’ve got an out of date (I was busy!) update. Bush blocked a DoJ probe into the program. That story broke in mid July.

President Bush effectively blocked a Justice Department investigation of the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program, refusing to give security clearances to attorneys who were attempting to conduct the probe, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales said yesterday.

Bush’s decision represents an unusually direct and unprecedented White House intervention into an investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility, the internal affairs office at Justice, administration officials and legal experts said. It forced OPR to abandon its investigation of the role Justice officials played in authorizing and monitoring the controversial NSA eavesdropping effort, according to officials and government documents.

Arlen Specter, as RINO as they come in most cases, is using his power as the Chair of the Judiciary Committee to try to power through a bill that would set up some oversight of the NSA program — by this court. The court has never outright turned down a wiretap or search warrant request by the federal government, in its entire history. Lovely.

The NSA bill — announced by Specter last month — would allow, but not require, the administration to submit the surveillance program to a secret intelligence court for review of its legality. Democrats and other critics say it would actually give the government greater powers to spy on Americans without court oversight.