Friday, March 31, 2006

FISA Judges Support Bush’s Right to Wiretap

From the Washington Times, via the Office of Homeland Security:

A panel of former Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judges yesterday told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that President Bush did not act illegally when he created by executive order a wiretapping program conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA).

The five judges testifying before the committee said they could not speak specifically to the NSA listening program without being briefed on it, but that a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act does not override the president’s constitutional authority to spy on suspected international agents under executive order.

“If a court refuses a FISA application and there is not sufficient time for the president to go to the court of review, the president can under executive order act unilaterally, which he is doing now,” said Judge Allan Kornblum, magistrate judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida and an author of the 1978 FISA Act. “I think that the president would be remiss exercising his constitutional authority by giving all of that power over to a statute.”

The article goes on to point out that liberal Democrats who think that Bush acted illegally in having calls from Americans to foreign numbers associated with terrorists tapped are not demanding that the surveillance be stopped.

Rather they are insisting on giving the President statutory authority to do it.

Which shows just how far out of the mainstream Feingold is.

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