Friday, February 17, 2006


So, beyond the three ring circus of Cheney's aim, there is much happening on the NSA wiretapping front.

The House looks to have agreed on a bipartisan investigation of the Bush administration's use of the NSA to spy on Americans without a warrant. The only thing to iron out is the scope of the investigation (Accord in House to Hold Inquiry on Surveillance).

The Senate, on the other hand, will not be investigating the NSA wiretapping (Senate Rejects Wiretapping Probe). The possible probe was halted when Bush made it known that he would not clear Ashcroft to testify in a Senate hearing.

On the same NSA program, a federal judge has ordered the release of documents related to a civil suit (Judge orders spying documents released). It is unlikely that the docs will actually ever be released, but this steps up the pressure on the courts who will most likely be the final arbitrators of the legality of the program. Expect to see this go all the way to the Supreme Court. While I am sure that the SC would love to take a pass on this, it would be difficult for them to pass without knowing the scope, and therefore, the details of the program.

And of final note, Republicans look to make laws on leakers of NSA type programs harsher (Senator May Seek Tougher Law on Leaks) while some Republicans are joinging Democrats in giving stronger protection to wistle blowers (Bipartisan Support Emerges for Federal Whistle-Blowers)

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