is reporting that Senior Justice Department and intelligence officials went before Congress and argued to legalize these NSA spying programs.
Senior Justice Department and intelligence officials urged Congress yesterday to approve new laws to accommodate the government's controversial warrantless eavesdropping program.
Arguing that the 1978 law governing surveillance of terrorists is out of step with current technology, the officials, appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, said they previously had not sought new legislation to avoid disclosing a key part of the operation. That is the ability to intercept foreign phone calls and e-mails no matter what their destination as they pass through telecommunications facilities inside the United States, said Lt. Gen. Keith B. Alexander, director of the National Security Agency.
• If the Bush administration’s new terrorist trial plan is all kosher, then why are they using false comparisons
Gonzales said in defense of the proposal that it was "consistent with the rule of law" and that its conditional allowance of hearsay evidence was consistent with the practice of the international tribunals governing war crimes in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.
But at a House Armed Services Committee hearing yesterday, law professor Michael P. Scharf -- who helped draft the rules for the Yugoslav tribunal -- testified that administration officials have "painted a misleading picture" on the similarities between their plan and the tribunals' procedures.
Scharf said defendants before the tribunal were entitled in all cases to be present at trial and to know who was confronting them. Only highly trained and experienced judges can rule on the admissibility of hearsay evidence, and evidence collected through inhumane treatment falling short of torture is absolutely excluded, he said.
Hopefully they will allow opinion from Graham in this matter, because I really believe he knows much more about what to do, than anyone in the Bush administration.
Tags: Bush•Republicans•War On Terror•Warrantless Wiretapping•Military Tribunals