Senate Committee to Investigate Illegal NSA Wiretapping

The New York Times has a big scoop on the warrantless NSA wiretapping program: The NSA admits it was out of control for a while and numerous Americans were tapped and had their records seized.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Diane Feinstein says the Committee will investigate.

I'm more concerned that Attorney General Eric Holder has reapproved and sought renewal of the program, saying the problems have been fixed.

As part of a periodic review of the agency’s activities, the department “detected issues that raised concerns,” it said. Justice Department officials then “took comprehensive steps to correct the situation and bring the program into compliance” with the law and court orders, the statement said. It added that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. went to the national security court to seek a renewal of the surveillance program only after new safeguards were put in place.

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    Senator Feinstein, (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by KeysDan on Thu Apr 16, 2009 at 10:31:07 AM EST
    does not engender a great deal of confidence for any reliable investigation.  As a fierce FISA advocate, it would seem doubtful that the senator could see anything possibly going wrong, unless, of course, we are dealing with just a few bad apples.

    fortunately, Feingold's also on the Committee. (none / 0) (#6)
    by Ben Masel on Thu Apr 16, 2009 at 10:58:20 AM EST
    We'll have hearings (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by MO Blue on Thu Apr 16, 2009 at 10:36:33 AM EST
    as a diversionary tactic. Meanwhile, conduct business as usual and continue spying on the citizens of the U.S. Just more smoke and mirrors IMO.

    How disheartening is it that I have no (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 16, 2009 at 10:40:24 AM EST
    real confidence in yet another "investigation?"  There's a part of me that would like to ask Feinstein what she expected was going to happen when the Congress failed to do its job in the first place?  

    Honestly, when I think about how many opportunities there were along the way, how many times they could have fought for what was right, how they likely contributed to where we are today, it just infuriates me that she, or anyone else, thinks calling for an investigation is supposed to impress us or assure us that they are, by God, on the case!

    I expect a lot of barking, posturing, and grandstanding, but ultimately, no biting; they will be stonewalled - only this time it will be a so-called Democratic president doing the stonewalling, and the blogs will be filled with vitriol for the investigators who dare to question his wisdom.  

    And this time, there may not even be any sternly-worded letters.

    Oh sucks (none / 0) (#5)
    by MO Blue on Thu Apr 16, 2009 at 10:49:52 AM EST
    Those sternly-worded letters were sooooo effective. How can we abandoning them now?

    D. Feinstein must have a dog in the (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 16, 2009 at 10:49:20 AM EST
    hunt.  The response of her office to my repeated inquiries is always delayed and always includes that she knows stuff even other senators do not know.  

    I hate this stuff going on in secret (none / 0) (#7)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 16, 2009 at 11:01:52 AM EST
    In recent weeks, the eavesdropping agency notified members of the Congressional intelligence committees that it had encountered operational and legal problems in complying with the new wiretapping law, Congressional officials said.

    I am well aware of the need for secrecy in security matters, but the thought of all these people knowing about this and not ME just drives me nuts.

    Sounds To Me (none / 0) (#8)
    by squeaky on Thu Apr 16, 2009 at 12:57:24 PM EST
    That this is more of a rogue BushCo addicted agency practice than a continuation of more of the same. This investigation started over six months ago and we have not heard a peep until now.

    Also, considering that the NSA was going to tap a Congresscritter without a warrant, the rest of the pack is not going to let this slide.

    I think that the Obama administration is going to have a tough year or two reigning in CIA and NSA folks who believe that Cheney is still running things.