Global War on Terror,  Politics

Alberto Gonzales Watch: Domestic Electronic Surveillance Authorized by Congress

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales speaks from the White House on morning news shows, Monday, Dec. 19, 2005, about President Bush’s use of domestic eavesdropping. Democrats and Republicans called separately Sunday for congressional investigations into Bush’s decision after Sept. 11 to allow domestic eavesdropping without court approval.

Reuters has Gonzales: War powers authorized eavesdropping

President George W. Bush’s decision to eavesdrop on people within the United States was backed by the U.S. Congress’ authorization of military force after the September 11, 2001, attacks, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said on Monday.

“There were many people, many lawyers, within the administration who advised the president that he had inherent authority as commander in chief under the Constitution to engage in this kind of signals intelligence of our enemy,” Gonzales said in an interview with CNN.

“We also believe that the authorization to use force which was passed by the Congress in the days following the attacks of September 11th constituted additional authorization for the president to engage in this kind of” electronic surveillance, he said.

Gonzales’ comments were the latest effort by the administration to defend a covert domestic spying program first reported by The New York Times on Friday. It was the first time the Bush administration has indicated what specific legal grounds it based its actions on.

The Democrats “OUTRAGE” is political posturing.

Feingold wants to differentiate himself from Hillary and ingratiate himself with the LEFT.

America is safer due to this surveillance and information was obtained in a timely manner – without harm to American civil liberties.

After initially refusing to comment on The New York Times report, Bush said on Saturday that after the September 11 attacks, he had authorized the National Security Agency “to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations.”

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reiterated Bush’s statement that the wiretapping of telephone conversations and other communications was legal and did not violate the U.S. Constitution.

A 1978 law, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, makes it illegal to spy on U.S. citizens in the United States without court approval.

Gonzales said Congress had granted an exception when it authorized the president to use “all necessary and appropriate force.”

“The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act provides that you must get a court order to engage in electronic surveillance of the type that the president talked about on Saturday, except as otherwise authorized by Congress,” he told CNN.

“We believe that other authorization by Congress exists in the authorization of the use of military force that was passed by the Congress in the days after September 11,” he added.

If the Democrats continue to have a concern sue on behalf of the terrorist scum that threatened hostile actions against the government of the United States. Go ahead and see what the United Supreme Court holds.

Flap handicaps NO congressional hearings into this matter.