Thursday, February 01, 2007

Warrantless Surveillance: The “Secret Court-Domestic Syping” Spin

Three dozen lawmakers will now have access to the “secret court” orders !

Now that the Dems have pushed for this “compromise”, doesn’t that make you feel oh, so, safe???

And don’t you just love the leftie spin?

Domestic Syping” (that is if you are communicating with al Qaeda or a terrorist organization).

Secret Court” (that is if you can’t use Google to discover their names which are openly shared on the “Secret CourtFISC 2006 Membership roster.)

According to the CRS Report for Congress (January 24, 2007), a January 17, 2007, letter from Attorney General Gonzales to Chairman Leahy and Senator Specter advising them that a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge had “issued orders authorizing the Government to target for collection international communications into or out of the United States where there is probable cause to believe that one of the communicants is a member or agent of al Qaeda or an associated terrorist organization,” stating that all surveillance previously occurring under the TSP will now be conducted subject to the approval of the Foreign Intelligence SurveillanceCourt . . .

Here's a summary of the news with sources hyperlinked.

Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, President Bush authorized the NSA to monitor telephone calls between the U.S. and overseas without warrants if one party was believed to be linked to al-Qaida or related groups. . .

A federal judge in Michigan ruled in August that the wiretapping program was unconstitutional. Judge Anna Diggs Taylor ordered the president to shut down . . . “the illegal program”. The federal government appealed the ruling. . .

The push for access was driven by Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-El Paso, and Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va. — the heads of the House and Senate intelligence panels, respectively — who warned Justice Department officials they would face congressional subpoenas if they did not turn over the records. . .

A deal was struck on Wednesday to resolve Congress' latest conflict with the administration over the National Security Agency's surveillance effort, and provides new evidence of the administration's more accommodating approach to the Democrats who now control Congress. . .

The agreement follows the administration's announcement two weeks ago that it was shutting down NSA's warrantless surveillance program and replacing it with a plan approved by the secret court that administers the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The NSA had conducted the domestic spying more than five years without such court oversight. . .

Under Wednesday's accord, announced by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, more than three dozen lawmakers will have access to the secret court orders governing the program, which were issued Jan. 10, and the applications from the Justice De artment that preceded them.

The lawmakers include the House and Senate leadership, the two intelligence panels and the heads of the two judiciary committees, officials said. . .

Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union, representing 10 groups and individuals that contend they have had to arrange secret meetings to communicate with overseas associates because of the wiretaps, said the case cannot be moot because the administration claims Bush still has power to conduct surveillance without warrants. . .

A federal appeals court in Cincinnati Wednesday will listen to arguments presented in the ACLU's lawsuit against the National Security Agency on the warrantless wiretapping issue . . .
the Bush administration "filed legal papers seeking to dismiss the ACLU lawsuit because the NSA surveillance is now under the review of the secret intelligence court." . . .

However, the ACLU said it filed a new brief "opposing the government's motion and pressing the appeals court to rule on the case, . .

The ACLU also said that "without more information about what the secret FISA court has authorized, there is no way to determine whether the NSA's current activities are lawful." . . .

Source: http://www.upi.com/SecurityTerrorism/view.php?StoryID=20070129-035658-2127r

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was created by section 103(a) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1803(a)). It was originally comprised of seven district judges from seven circuits named by the Chief Justice of the United States to serve a maximum of 7 years.

In 2001, the U.S.A. Patriot Act (section 208) amended the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to increase the number of FIS Court judges from seven to eleven, "of whom no fewer than 3 shall reside within 20 miles of the District of Columbia." The membership of the Court in 2006 was as follows.

And link to “Secret Court” FISC 2006 Membership Roster

CRS Report For Congress January 24, 2007
The U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review: An Overview

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Trackposted to Pirate's Cove, Conservative Cat, basil's blog, and Pursuing Holiness, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

2 comments:

  1. I've always felt that if you don't have anything to hide, why worry about a wire tap or anything else? But that's just me.

    ReplyDelete