Friday, August 03, 2007

FISA Judge Struck Down Bush Spying


Lately we've all been wondering: what's the rush to change the federal wiretapping and surveillance laws all of a sudden?

Bush has, of course, been going around demanding that Congress change the FISA statute, and Congress seems pretty willing to do it.

It turns out that a FISA Court judge ruled earlier this year that yet another one of Bush's warrantless spying programs violated the law.

So he needs to Congress to change the law to let him keep doing it. It's not clear exactly what the problem is, but indications are that it involves, unsurprisingly, spying on non-Americans having contact with people inside the United States.

But hey, at least he didn't just keep doing it and blow Congress off. So that's progress, sort of.

The Washington Post reports that the ruling prevented the NSA from monitoring telephone calls and e-mails originating outside the United States as the pass through the U.S.

I'm willing to bet this story was linked the Bush-friendly Washington Post in an effort to light a fire under Congress and create support for amending the law among the general public and pro-Bush bloggers.

Indeed, House Minority Leader John Boehner, mentioned the decision on Fox News, according the Post.

Reuters sums up the differences between Bush and the Democrats by saying Bush wants to spy on non-Americans based outside the U.S., even if they are communicating with someone inside the United States, without a warrant and without involving the FISA court.

Democrats feel, presumably, that vests too much power with Bush and his people, who do not exactly have a spotless track record.


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