New Bill Allows Warrantless Spying
Posted on Mar 16, 2006
OK, OK, it’s not time to get hysterical yet. This one doesn’t look likely to pass, but…
Four senators have introduced a bill that would allow the NSA to eavesdrop, sans warrant, for up to 45 days. GOP Sen. Arlen Specter objected, saying the law would allow government to “do whatever the hell it wants.”
Oh. Right. What a departure that would be.
The Bush administration could continue its policy of spying on targeted Americans without obtaining warrants, but only if it justifies the action to a small group of lawmakers, under legislation introduced yesterday by key Republican senators.
The four senators hope to settle the debate over National Security Agency eavesdropping on international communications involving Americans when one of the parties is suspected of terrorist ties. President Bush prompted a months-long uproar when he said that constitutional powers absolve him of the need to seek warrants in such cases, even though the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act requires warrants for domestic wiretaps.
The program, begun in 2001, was first publicized late last year.