Bush defends constitutionality of warrantless domestic wiretaps
AAsch at aol.com
AAsch at aol.com
Sat Dec 17 14:05:39 PST 2005
In his weekly radio address today, Pres. Bush defended the warrantless
domestic wiretaps recently revealed in the NY Times. The full text of his address
Bush mainly based his authority on Congress's September 2001 authorization
to use military force and his inherent authority as commander-in-chief,
"I am using authority vested in me by Congress, including the Joint
Authorization for Use of Military Force, which passed overwhelmingly in the first
week after September the 11th. I'm also using constitutional authority vested in
me as Commander-in-Chief."
Curiously, though Bush mentioned briefing some members of Congress, he
mainly emphasized the executive branch's review of itself as if that were some
kind of check on executive power. As Bush explained:
"The activities I authorized are reviewed approximately every 45 days. Each
review is based on a fresh intelligence assessment of terrorist threats to
the continuity of our government and the threat of catastrophic damage to our
homeland. During each assessment, previous activities under the authorization
are reviewed. The review includes approval by our nation's top legal
officials, including the Attorney General and the Counsel to the President. I have
reauthorized this program more than 30 times since the September the 11th
attacks, and I intend to do so for as long as our nation faces a continuing threat
from al Qaeda and related groups.
The NSA's activities under this authorization are thoroughly reviewed by the
Justice Department and NSA's top legal officials, including NSA's general
counsel and inspector general. Leaders in Congress have been briefed more than
a dozen times on this authorization and the activities conducted under it.
Intelligence officials involved in this activity also receive extensive
training to ensure they perform their duties consistent with the letter and intent
of the authorization."
Bush failed to mention the judicial branch or its role anywhere in his
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Conlawprof