Inspector General to Investigate NSA Wiretapping Program

The good news is that Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine announced he will conduct an investigation into how the Justice Department used the information it received from Bush's warrantless, NSA electronic surveillance program. He has also mangaged to get security clearances for his investigators. The bad news is it "won't address whether the controversial program is an unconstitutional expansion of presidential power, as its critics and a federal judge in Detroit have charged."

The ACLU reports:

In a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, Glenn Fine, the Justice Department’s Inspector General, said that his office has "decided to open a program review that will examine the Department’s controls and use of information related to the program and the Department’s compliance with legal requirements governing the program."

Again, it's not enough. It won't address the legality of the program. As the ACLU points out:

"While the OIG carries out this investigation, lawmakers in Congress must conduct their own oversight regarding this illegal program. They must also reject any attempt to sanction this unconstitutional program or provide immunity to those telecommunications companies that violated the law when they gave our private information to the government without judicial approval. The American people deserve to know who among us has been spied on without a warrant."

What more is needed?

A full investigation into the program as a whole, not just the DOJ's involvement, will be necessary," said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.

And this from "Former Reagan administration national security official Robert F. Turner, now associate director at the Center for National Security Law at the University of Virginia":

"It's good that the executive branch, on its own, is making sure that someone's not abusing this power," Turner said. "But when Congress usurps power vested in the president by the people through the Constitution, then it becomes the lawbreaker."

And back to where we started with the ACLU:

Countering, Caroline Fredrickson, the director of the ACLU's office in Washington, urged Fine "to seek the hidden truth about this program. ... No one, not even the president, is above the law."


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  • Display: Sort:
    W-h-i-t-e-w-a-s-h ? (4.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Edger on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 01:24:39 PM EST
    won't address whether the controversial program is an unconstitutional expansion of presidential power

    He should include in his report... (none / 0) (#2)
    by Bill Arnett on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 01:03:48 PM EST
    ...as well that this must be the most inefficient method to obtain evidence to use in court ever.

    Why else are fewer "terrorists" cases being filed now than before 9/11/01? Because they cannot introduce illegally gathered evidence in a court of law.