Thursday, February 09, 2006

Secret Court's Judges Were Warned About NSA Spy Data

Seems to us that the FISA Court's two top judges were cooperating with the administration, in every way they could, from day one, even though they were being put in really untenable positions.
This comes as no surprise to us. We would expect them to, and wonder about their sanity in the days and weeks following 9/11, had they not.
So why go around them?
Well, I suppose that the administration could say that the limits placed on them by the FISA Judges, like; "You still have to abide by the law.. fruits of the poisonous tree... risk losing your prosecutions of known terrorists and all that.
But then why not go back to congress and say, hey guys and gals, we have a problem. The old FISA laws just don't fit with the new conflict we face and we need your help to correct the laws so that we can better monitor organizations and individuals, sometimes American citizens and organizations that we have good reason to believe are in contact with terrorist organizations abroad, but who are also inside the country.
I am convinced that every member of Congress would have fallen over themselves trying to give the president what he said he needed to prevent another attack on American soil. The rapid passage of the Patriot Act, which, apparently, no one really read, with the exception of Russ Feingold, is proof solid of that.
So, why not go to Congress? Maybe it is simply that pesty "unitary executive theory" stuff again. If so, then that theory should be shot and buried once and for all, because not only does it threaten our constitution, but it appears that in this case, it may have well threatened our national security from without as well.
We have our own theories of why they didn't go to congress, and actually turned down an offer by congress to make the FISA laws more "agile, as they had already done once."
That would have entailed actual oversight by the congress and that is what they did not want. They say that they didn't want the terrorists to know about the program. Please, give us a break. The "terrorists" apparently know far more about our government and the way it functions than most of us do, or 9/11 would have been impossible, wouldn't it?
It was apparently our elected representatives and senators that they did not want knowing all that was going on.
Which again begs the question, WHY?
America cannot long endure, in any conflict, let alone this global war on terror," an executive that considers congress the enemy.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 9, 2006; Page A01

Twice in the past four years, a top Justice Department lawyer warned the presiding judge of a secret surveillance court that information overheard in President Bush's eavesdropping program may have been improperly used to obtain wiretap warrants in the court, according to two sources with knowledge of those events.

The revelations infuriated U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly -- who, like her predecessor, Royce C. Lamberth, had expressed serious doubts about whether the warrantless monitoring of phone calls and e-mails ordered by Bush was legal. Both judges had insisted that no information obtained this way be used to gain warrants from their court, according to government sources, and both had been assured by administration officials it would never happen.


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