Judges Testimony at Senate FISA Hearing: The Transcripts
The right and left blogosphere, as well as the New York Times and the Washington Times, report differing interpretations of the testimony of five Judges at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this week on FISA and Bush's NSA warrantless surveillance program.
- Glenn Greenwald and Anonymous Liberal weigh in here.
Let's go to the transcripts. Since they are not yet available free, I've put them on TalkLeft, along with the transcript of the question and answer session that followed. They are in pdf format.
- Judge Allan Kornblum
- Judge Stanley Brotman
- Judge Harold Baker
- Judge John Keenan
- Judge William Stafford
So, who's right? Glenn and A.L. or Powerline, the New York Times or the Washington Times?
Additional hearing notes:
Marty Lederer of Balkanization has posted the testimony of David Kris, Associate Deputy Attorney General in charge of national security issues from 2000 to 2003. who testified on a different panel at the hearing. Marty writes that Kris proposes a far superior legislative fix to FISA than does Sen. Specter's bill (S. 2468), which Kris outlines in the second part of his testimony:
It consists of a very elaborate proposal on how FISA might be amended to permit the Administration to intercept communications involving Al Qaeda agents in cases where such interceptions might now be foreclosed under the FISA standards, in a manner that could satisfy Fourth Amendment concerns. Kris's proposed substantive standards are not nearly as open-ended as those in Senator Specter's bill, which would permit indiscriminate surveillance of any U.S. person who has ever communicated with an agent of a foreign power (i.e., virtually everyone). Kris's proposal also improves on the Specter proposal in several other respects, and candidly identifies the possible constitutional obstacles that such legislation would raise, including a serious Article III question about whether a court can pre-approve a surveillance "program" writ large, rather than (as under FISA) evaluating interceptions on a case-by-case individualized basis.
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