Monday, December 19, 2005

The Legal Case

I won't have a watch to see President Bush's press conference this morning. But rest assured, the subject of the NSA's expanded domestic surveillance program will come up. The liberals in Washington have worked themselves into a lather on this one, making the pedictable demands hearings and Congressional investigations, despite the fact that some Democrats--including Jay Rockefeller and Harry Reid were bried on the programs months ago, and (apparently) rasied few objections.

The bottom line in the NSA case is clear: does President Bush have the legal authority to use the NSA to conduct expanded surveillance of American citizens without first obtaining search warrants. Former Undersecretary of Defense Jed Babbin believes the answer to that one is a definite "yes" and notes that the current legal system for that type of surveillance work (through the FISA court) is too slow and cumbersome.

Meanwhile, attorney (and WABC talk host) Mark Levin reminds us that this type of activity has been going on for some time, under the auspices of the Echelon program. As the Great One notes, the Echelon effort has been underway for some time and it receives funding from Congress every year. Echelon casts a much wider net than the recently-disclosed domestic surveillance program, and no one has raised any objections to that program.

Finally, kudos to Texas Senator John Cornyn for addressing the subject that is largely absent in this debate--the deliberate and wreckless endangerment of national security by the NYT, and the government's refusal (so far) to hold them accountable.

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