Republican Senator: Bush violated the law

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)

--> Sign up for Peek in your inbox... every morning! (Go here and check Peek box).

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close