Hearings Requested Into Bush's Warrantless Surveillance

Seventeen Democrats who are members of the House Judiciary Committee today called on Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner to convene hearings to investigate President Bush's ordering the National Security Agency to conduct electronic surveillance of persons within the United States without obtaining court-ordered warrants. They noted in their request that Sen. Arlen Specter has called for similar hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (More on that here.)

From the letter (received by e-mail):

...we ask that you, too, convene hearings to investigate why the President circumvented the system established under current law, which permits him to seek emergency warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to conduct domestic surveillance. It is imperative we understand the legal authority upon which it is claimed these activities are based and the scope of the activities undertaken.

The signers to the letter include:

Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
Rick Boucher (D-VA)
John Conyers, Ranking Member (D-MI)
Howard L. Berman (D-CA)
Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
Robert C. Scott (D-VA)
Melvin L. Watt (D-NC)
Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX)
Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Martin T. Meehan (D-MA)
William Delahunt (D-MA)
Robert Wexler (D-FL)
Anthony D. Weiner (D-NY)
Adam B. Schiff (D-CA)
Linda T. Sanchez (D-CA)
Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)

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  • Re: Hearings Requested Into Bush's Warrantless Sur (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 03:17:24 PM EST
    i have a hunch their call will be ignored.

    Re: Hearings Requested Into Bush's Warrantless Sur (none / 0) (#2)
    by Punchy on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 03:40:25 PM EST
    This will never ever happen. Sensenbrenner is among the most illogical, repugnant members of the House. NOt a chance he lets this take place.

    The Bush wiretap revelations mean it's probably time to raise the Conservative Threat Level. The Conservative Threat Level (CTL) is currently Orange/Elevated: Church and State to Merge.

    Re: Hearings Requested Into Bush's Warrantless Sur (none / 0) (#4)
    by cpinva on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 04:13:22 PM EST
    i think overtly violating the 4th amendment qualifies as at least "misdemeanors". so, we can expect those same zealous congressmen/women, who went after clinton over a blow job, to just climb all over bush, right? btw, nice look for the site.

    In his December 19th press conference regarding his secret and likely illegal program of domestic surveillance, an angry President George W. Bush took umbrage at suggestions that he believes in unprecedented, expansive and unchecked presidential power. A fuming Bush responded: "To say 'unchecked power' basically is ascribing some kind of dictatorial position to the President, which I strongly reject." Unfortunately, Bush's past statements show that far from rejecting dictatorial power for the President, he's actually quite enamored of it. For the full story, see: "Bush on Dictatorship"

    Jack Cafferty (CNN) said it best: "Who cares if the Patriot Act gets renewed. Want to abuse our civil liberties-Just do it! Who cares about the Geneva conventions? Want to torture prisoners-Just do it! Who cares about rules concerning the identity of CIA gents. Want to reveal the name of a covert operative? Just do it! Who cares about whether the intelligence concerning WMD's is accurate. You want to invade Iraq? Just do it. Who cares about qualifications to serve on the nation's highest court. Want to nominate a personal friend with no qualifications? Just do it. And the latest outrage, which I read about in "The New York Times" this morning, who cares about needing a court order to eavesdrop on American citizens. Want to wiretap their phones conversations? Just do it.... What a joke. A very cruel, very sad joke." Yet, it is not a joke, it is an outrage. Some sources on the Web quote Bush as saying that the constitution is "just a goddamned piece of paper." Maybe the quote is not accurate, but his actions show that this is what he believes. How far will we allow this abuse to go? How long will we, by our inaction, encourage such abuse of our fundamental liberties? How long will we sin by our silence and cower at the swagger and conceit of this administration? How far will be drift from our basic beliefs out of fear of terrorists both real and imagined? Is there some concealed agenda on the part of the neocons? It is starting to appear as though there is. There are some very frightening parallels with the 1930's in Germany. Speak up and create a chorus of courage to keep the US what it claims to be--the land of the free and the home of the brave. If we allow this to continue, we are neither.

    I think it Kucinich's invovement with the NSA that may give the nix to this inquiry.

    Re: Hearings Requested Into Bush's Warrantless Sur (none / 0) (#8)
    by Edger on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 08:24:56 PM EST
    Washington, D.C.– U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today asked four presidential scholars for their opinion on former White House Counsel John Dean’s statement that President Bush admitted to an “impeachable offense” when he said he authorized the National Security Agency to spy on Americans without getting a warrant from a judge. More... ----- Bye, bye-bye, baby, bye-bye. I may be seeing you around When I change my living standard and I move uptown, Bye-bye, baby, bye-bye. --Janis Joplin

    He is relying in large part on the "war on terror" legislation. I seem to remember Bush declaring "Mission Accomplished," and Dick Cheney saying the insurgency was in its "last throes" nearly a year ago. If that's the case, it would seem that any powers Bush believes he derived from that legislation no longer exists, as he has declared that largely "mission accomplished." Any validity to that argument?