Sunday, December 18, 2005

Bob Barr: The president violated the law

Video From C&L

Bob Barr came out swinging against Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)on CNN yesterday-over news that President Bush has been spying on U.S. citizens.

BARR: What’s wrong with it is several-fold. One, it’s bad policy for
our government to be spying on American citizens through the National Security
Agency. Secondly, it’s bad to be spying on Americans without court oversight.
And thirdly, it’s bad to be spying on Americans apparently in violation of
federal laws against doing it without court order...

BARR: Well, the fact of the matter is that the Constitution is the
Constitution, and I took an oath to abide by it. My good friend, my former
colleague, Dana Rohrabacher, did and the president did. And I don't really care
very much whether or not it can be justified based on some hypothetical. The
fact of the matter is that, if you have any government official who deliberately
orders that federal law be violated despite the best of motives, that certainly
ought to be of concern to us...

BARR: The fact of the matter is the law
prohibits-specifically prohibits -what apparently was done in this case, and for
a member of Congress to say, oh, that doesn’t matter, I’m proud that the
president violated the law is absolutely astounding, Wolf." (Full transcript)

Jane says We Got Gamed

Josh Marshall says

As I noted below, one of the alleged rationales for sidestepping the law and the FISA Court with these NSA wiretaps is the need for timeliness....

It turns out that FISA specifically empowers the Attorney General or his designee to start wiretapping on an emergency basis even without a warrant so long as a retroactive application is made for one "as soon as practicable, but not more than 72 hours after the Attorney General authorizes such surveillance." (see specific citation, here).


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