Bush won't reauthorize eavesdroppingI'm thinking he's thinking Impeachment may not be too far off, after all.
"Any electronic surveillance that was occurring as part of the Terrorist Surveillance Program will now be conducted subject to the approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court," Gonzales said.
Gonzales said a judge on the secret FISA court recently approved a government proposal allowing it to target communications into and out of the United States when probable cause exists that one person is a member of al Qaeda or an associated terrorist organization.
He reiterated the administration's position that the surveillance program has been legal, but said the government will now have the ability to act with sufficient "speed and agility."
White House spokesman Tony Snow said the new rules approved by the court addressed administration concerns.
"The president will not reauthorize the present program because the new rules will serve as guideposts," Snow said.
Gonzales' letter came the day before he was scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where the Democrats now in power were expected to question him closely about the much-criticized program.
After all that he's done to circumvent the Constitution. After all of the people who've lost their lives as a direct result of his greed, stupidity and hubris. After all the billions of dollars spent trying to prove delusions and phantoms of Neocon glee...
This be far too little and way too late.
Though perhaps it's not too much of the latter to do the job the Duplicitor in Chief hopes for it; forestalling Congress from doing its job and trying him on a few more counts than just illegally spying on citizens of the United States. Not that he's off the hook on that one yet.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (news, bio, voting record), a Vermont Democrat and the judiciary committee's chairman, said Bush's decision will provide efficient and meaningful court review.
"We must engage in all surveillance necessary to prevent acts of terrorism, but we can and should do so in ways that protect the basic rights of all Americans including the right to privacy," he said.
Sen. Charles Schumer (news, bio, voting record), a New York Democrat and a judiciary committee member, said, "Why it took five years to go to even this secret court is beyond comprehension."
Last year a federal judge in Detroit ordered the Bush administration to stop the surveillance because it violates Americans' civil rights.
U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor said the program violated a constitutional check on the power of the presidency and said there "are no hereditary kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution."
The Bush administration has appealed the ruling to a federal appeals court, where the case is pending.
[The complete Reuters' article via Yahoo! News]
We'll be seeing, eh.