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McCain Contradicts Key Piece Of Gonzales’ Defense Of Warrantless Domestic Spying Program

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On yesterday’s edition of Fox News Sunday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) told host Chris Wallace that he didn’t think President Bush had “legal authority” to engage in warrantless domestic spying:

WALLACE: But you do not believe that currently he has the legal authority to engage in these warrant-less wiretaps.

MCCAIN: You know, I don’t think so, but why not come to Congress? We can sort this all out. I don’t think — I know of no member of Congress, frankly, who, if the administration came and said here’s why we need this capability, that they wouldn’t get it.
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The news is not that McCain spoke out against Bush’s apparent circumvension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which says that the National Security Agency must obtain a warrant before conducting surveillance. McCain also spoke out against the program last month — one of at least 11 Republican senators to question the program.

The news is that McCain contradicts a key piece of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ defense of Bush’s program — that Congress wouldn’t have authorized it anyway. Gonzales, who as White House counsel approved the program, will try to defend the program in Senate testimony next month.

As Gonzales said last month: “We’ve had discussions with members of Congress, certain members of Congress, about whether or not we could get an amendment to FISA, and we were advised that that was not likely to be — that was not something we could likely get.”

In other words, someone is lying.

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This item first appeared at Journalists Against Bush’s B.S.

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About David R. Mark

  • gonzo marx

    decent take on it David…and as usual, thank you for all the linkage provided

    we will see how this one plays out

    but my take is still that FISA was knowingly bypassed, and i have one big Question which has yet to be satisfactorily answered…

    Why?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    Am I reading ths completely wrong or is Gonzales cold-bloodedly admitting he knew they needed an amendment to FISA to make it legal?

    When “Congress wouldn’t have approved it” is your legal defense, you are up shit creek and proning yourself on the short attention span and apathy of the American people. (Sadly, at least fair odds often).

    And tat still doesn’t address the need for FISA to be circumvented.

    Especially – again my eyes may be glazed over here – since President Bush today said he’d been “briefing” Congress all along, so everything’s peachy, really.

    Now this “briefing” was pretty much a no-questions-allowed type of affair from most blogger and media reports I’ve read. Again, why no questions allowed? It still stinks to high, well, hell.