An Update on President Bush's NSA Program: The Historical Context, Specter's Recent Bill, and Feingold's Censure Motion
By John Dean
President George Bush continues to openly and defiantly ignore the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) -- the 1978 statute prohibiting electronic inspection of Americans' telephone and email communications with people outside the United States without a court-authorized warrant. (According to U.S. News & World Report, the President may also have authorized warrantless break-ins and other physical surveillance, such as opening regular mail, in violation of the Fourth Amendment.)Read more.
Bush's position is that he does not need Congressional approval for his measures. Even he does not claim that Congress gave him express power to undertake them, but he does claim that Congress indirectly approved such measures when it authorized the use of force to go after those involved in the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States. He also argues that, in any event, approval was not necessary - for he argues that he has such authority under Article II of the Constitution, as the chief executive, and Commander in Chief, charged with faithfully executing the laws of the land and protecting the Constitution.
These arguments are hauntingly familiar to this observer.
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