Republican Senator: Bush violated the law

News & Politics

Remember Cointelpro, the top-secret FBI surveillance program begun in 1956 "because of frustration with Supreme Court rulings limiting the Government's power to proceed overtly against dissident groups," and later proven to be unworkable because it's far far too easy for it to be used against political opponents and because it's thoroughly un-American and illegal?

Yeah, well, these are come hither words to the Bush administration.

It can't be taken as a terribly good sign for the president that the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee Arlen Specter (R-PA) told NBC that "he believed the Bush administration had violated the law with its warrantless surveillance program and that its legal justifications for the program were 'strained and unrealistic.'"

Matt Stoller would like to know how the president will also make the case that his spying wasn't directed at political opponents, a la Cointelpro, despite justifications that illegal spying is a necessary element for fighting terrorism. "Bush must prove that these six examples are not part of a larger pattern, but are isolated... Anything less than him proving that he is not using his powers to spy on political opposition and journalists is evidence that his aims are tyrannical and that this controversy has nothing to do with terrorism." (Headlines are below, article summaries are HERE)...

  • Bush Administration uses U.S. Army to spy on war critics.
  • Bush Administration uses FBI to spy on war critics.
  • Bush Administration forced to turn over records revealing FBI is spying on Bush critics.
  • Bush Administration uses Pentagon to spy on Bush critics.
  • The Bush Administration may have wiretapped a CNN reporter.
  • Gen. Michael Hayden refused to answer question about spying on political enemies at National Press Club.

Moments ago, according to Trampoline: "Gonzales just tried to use the ol' 9/11 defense and got cut off by Pat Leahy:
"Mr. Gonzales, I am aware that we were attacked. I was here in this building, and I joined with Republicans and Democrats -- virtually every member of Congress -- to give you the authority we thought you needed. Now answer my question..."
Further reading on Bush's big lie to Congress is [HERE]. (MyDD, RCFYA)

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