Bush gets a spying blank check

Consortium News
by Robert Parry


Eager to leave for its August recess, Congress handed George W. Bush another blank check on executive power, letting him order up spying directives against a vast number of people, including Americans, if they are physically outside the United States. The “Protect America Act of 2007” sets the standard for a surveillance order – which can last for up to one year – as simply that it be “directed at a person reasonably believed to be located outside the United States”...


Is the White House lying about spying again?

by Joan Walsh


Salon had an odd Associated Press wire story up mid day on Friday. On top was an ‘update’ trumpeting President Bush’s rejection of compromise attempts on FISA. At the same press conference the AP highlighted, Bush said: ‘I’m going to ask the DNI [Director of National Intelligence]: Does this legislation give you what you need to prevent an attack on the country? Is this what you need to do your job, Mr. DNI? That’s the question I’m going to ask. And if the answer is yes, I’ll sign the bill. And if the answer is no, I’m going to veto the bill.’ But the update was attached to a main story reporting that the DNI — Mike McConnell — was going along with a compromise with Democrats...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Surveillance Law Goes Far Beyond What White House Needed

James Risen reports for The New York Times that Bush has signed legislation into law broadly expanding the government's authority to eavesdrop on the international telephone calls and email messages of American citizens without warrants. The impact reaches far beyond what the Bush administration had said was needed to gather information about foreign terrorists. For the first time, the new law makes surveillance without warrants, which was being conducted in secret by the NSA and in disregard of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, legal. FISA is the 1978 law that was supposed to regulate the way the government can listen to the private communications of American citizens.



Dianne Feinstein: co-conspirator with Bush & Gonzales

Center For Constitutional Rights Condems FISA Modernization Law

Bush Gets 6 Months Big Brother Dictator Powers


Dangerous Deja Vu...

Co-Sponsor Senator Feingold's Censure Resolutions

Last week law-abiding Americans were once again forced to surrender their rights and freedoms. The event was eerily similar to the unwise passage of the PATRIOT Act some six years ago. We once again had a power hungry executive and a Senate controlled by Democrats. The only difference was that the House of Representatives is now under the control of Democrats - which makes what happened all the more troubling.

The Democratic-led Congress voted to allow the President and his administration to intercept the phone calls and emails of American citizens, without a warrant, with virtually zero judicial oversight, and no reporting whatsoever to Congress. The government is now allowed to grab any communication believed to be from outside the U.S. That includes American citizens who live overseas, service members such as those in Iraq, journalists reporting from overseas, or even Members of Congress who are abroad and call home to the United States - all without any sort of court oversight. This goes far beyond the identified problem of foreign-to-foreign communications that we all agree needed to be fixed.

We cannot allow these abuses to go unchallenged. With your help and valuable input over the last two weeks, late last Friday I formally introduced two censure resolutions to hold President Bush, and his administration, responsible for undermining the rule of law time and time again, and for misleading this country into an unwise war in Iraq and mismanaging the situation that followed.

Demand Accountability: Become a Citizen Co-Sponsor of Censure

The first censure resolution addresses the administration's numerous attacks on our Constitution and the rule of law. The President and Attorney General have violated the foundation of our government. This censure resolution will condemn the President and Attorney General for the administration's illegal domestic wiretapping program, for redefining torture, for its extreme positions on the legal status of detainees that has been rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court more than once, and for its refusal to cooperate with Congress' responsibility to conduct adequate oversight as mandated in the Constitution.

The second censure resolution holds the President and Vice President responsible for both leading our country into Iraq under false pretenses and for leading our country into a war without adequate planning. The administration exaggerated the threat from Iraq, overstated the case that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and falsely linked Iraq to al Qaeda and the horrific attacks of September 11th, 2001. They must be held to account for leading our nation down a path that has made America less safe and has hurt our ability to fight terrorism around the world.

Demand Accountability: Become a Citizen Co-Sponsor of Censure

Congress cannot continue to stand by and allow the actions of this President and his administration to go unchallenged. The legislation that passed last week expires in six months, and at that point we will likely see a fight similar to the one that took place last week. We cannot let this President, or any President, continue to thumb their nose at the Constitution and the rule of law.

Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) has joined me in this effort and has introduced both censure resolutions in the House - but we cannot do it alone. Please sign on as a Citizen Co-Sponsor of Censure so we can show other elected officials in Congress that the American people will not give up in their demand for accountability.


Russ Feingold
United States Senator
Honorary Chair, Progressive Patriots Fund


Feingold, Hinchey Introduce Resolutions Censuring President, Vice President and Attorney General


Secret Call Log at Heart of Wiretap Challenge

Paul Elias reports for The Associated Press, "The Document, described by those who have seen it as a National Security Administration log of calls intercepted between an Islamic charity and its American lawyers, is at the heart of what legal experts say may be the strongest case against the Bush administration's warrantless eavesdropping program."




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