Friday, December 16, 2005

1984 Redux

CBS News | Official: Bush OK'd Eavesdropping | December 16, 2005 20:45:19:
(CBS/AP) President Bush has personally authorized a secretive eavesdropping program in the United States more than three dozen times since October 2001, a senior intelligence official told The Associated Press Friday night.

The disclosure follows angry demands by lawmakers earlier in the day for a congressional inquiry into whether the monitoring by the highly secretive National Security Agency violated civil liberties.

"There is no doubt that this is inappropriate," declared Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He promised hearings early next year.


Caroline Fredrickson, director of the Washington legislative office of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the group was shocked by the disclosure.

'We're finding out that the president has possibly authorized the breaking of the law so that our government can eavesdrop on American citizens?' Fredrickson told CBS Radio News. 'We're still trying to process it, but it's truly amazing.'

Earlier this week, the Pentagon said it was reviewing its use of a classified database of information about suspicious people and activity inside the United States after a report by NBC News said the database listed activities of anti-war groups that were not a security threat to Pentagon property or personnel.


The Times said it delayed publication of the report for a year because the White House said it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny. The Times said it omitted information from the story that administration officials argued could be useful to terrorists.
What more can I say? Of course, the Administration defends its position by invoking the War On Terror. It's just another example of killing the patient to stop the disease by destroying what we are supposed to be defending.

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