Monday, January 23, 2006

Update: Spying on You and Me

While the White House defended domestic surveillance as a safeguard against terrorism, a Florida peace activist and several Democrats in Congress accused the Bush administration on Friday of spying on Americans who disagree with President Bush's policies.

In the meantime, illegal eavesdropping swept up vast quantities of Americans' private communications without any reasonable belief that they could be related to terrorism. The National Security Agency flooded the Federal Bureau of Investigation with thousands of names, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers and other tips that virtually all led to dead ends or to innocent Americans.

According to Michael Scherer, "civil liberties attorneys have been searching for the picture-perfect plaintiffs to challenge President Bush's warrantless wiretapping program. The dilemma they faced was obvious: the only known targets of the secret spying are suspected or convicted terrorists, hardly the most politically palatable victims of government abuse. On Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union revealed its solution to this problem in a spectacular fashion. It filed suit against the National Security Agency with a collection of litigants that reads like the guest list of an Arianna Huffington dinner party."

Elizabeth de la Vega makes a case that Bush doesn't know best: "Bush's illegal wiretapping program isn't just reckless and immoral - it will actually hurt the 'War on Terror.'"

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