Wednesday, January 17, 2007

After All His Protests to the Contrary . . .

Looks like Shrub's finally taking someone's advice, even when it goes against his Chimperial Will, after all.
Bush won't reauthorize eavesdropping

"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.
I'm thinking he's thinking Impeachment may not be too far off, after all.

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.

14 comments:

  1. That ol' Bush will be shopping around to replace some of those liberal judges. I hear Gonzales got a few Impeach Gonzales messages.

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  2. From The Huffington Post: "...my reading of the first paragraph of Gonzales' letter is that the Administration went to one hand-picked, friendly FISA judge (there are 11 of them on the court, and the government can ordinarily seek a surveillance warrant from any one it chooses), and asked for approval to carry out the NSA program in exactly the fashion they have been carrying it out thus far."

    Full post here. I don't trust the bastards.

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  3. There's been some weird stuff going on over there in Alberto's evil underground lair. Josh Marshall has been running posts about the firings of Attorneys in the US Justice Dept all week. It does look like a purge. I wonder if this event is connected.

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  4. Dig it folks. My buddy at work, the pickled punk, sent me to TPM Muckrakers for this little tidbit.

    As the Commentary following the post indicates, there just may be something more important than Impeachment, errmm, after all.

    Revoking the Patriot Act.

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  5. This is America. Why can't we have both?

    ;-)

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  6. Interesting. Do you think this is in response to:

    A. Congress going to rid him until the end?
    B. The lack of support for him and the war in Iraq?
    C. The fact his brother wants to be President some day too?
    D. All of teh above

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  7. Dig it, indeed, Mando Mama!

    D + E He's been replacing Prosecutors nationwide, so that won't be anyone to come for in most of the 50 states.

    {-; but errrrhg..!

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  8. I don't find a secret court full of Bush appointees any more comforting.

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  9. i am for repealing the patriot act and impeaching cheney first, bush second!!

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  10. Dig. None of this regimes escapades have been "comforting" to me.

    That'd probably be the quickest way to go about it, eh Betmo. Good idea.

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  11. Revoking the Patriot Act.

    Amen, brother. It's not only the most unconstitutional action taken by our government since Japanese internment, but it's Orwellian name still sends shivers down my spine.

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  12. I think it's smoke and mirrors, all of it, designed to keep Congress and the rest of us barking up various trees while BushCo continues looting the country and turning it into a police state.

    I'd like to be wrong, of course.

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  13. The ptriot act shouldnt have to be revoked in the first place, since it had a famous "sunset provision" set to expire in 2004.

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  14. I {shudder} whenever I hear/read "Patriot Act" or, especially, "Homeland {shudder} Security", Agí. Welcome to the "brave" new world, eh.

    I'd like it were you wrong, as well Blue Wren. But we all seem to be smelling the same kind of fascist rot, and the only hope I have going forward is - I hope not wantonly - pegged to the muddled and disjointed Democratic Party.

    I really need to check back with that Unity '08 site. I need a freakin' pick-me-up...

    No doubt, Steve. Alas, '04 and '05's Rubber-Stamp Congress proved their worthiness of that epithet.

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