More On NSA Illegal Programs

History Commons – Overview of NSA Warrantless Wiretapping

Also includes references to torture, how the Bush administration said that the Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply, how Cheney and Addington pressured NSA to intercept all American phone calls (why should anyone believe that wasn’t for political purposes? Worse than Watergate), how the Washington Post had evidence of the illegal program but chose to return the evidence rather than report on it, how Pelosi tried to rein them in and failed, the unanswered questions as to when Bush ordered his portion of it, and more. My favorite: the Bush administration’s assertion that the President has the authority to use military force on American soil against Americans:

There are virtually no restrictions on the president’s ability to use the military because, Yoo and Delahunty write, the nation is in a “state of armed conflict.” The scale of violence, they argue, is unprecedented and “legal and constitutional rules” governing law enforcement, even Constitutional restrictions, no longer apply. The US military can be used for “targeting and destroying” hijacked airplanes, they write, or “attacking civilian targets, such as apartment buildings, offices, or ships where suspected terrorists were thought to be.”

It’s also interesting to note that the very legal questions surrounding the NDAA, the military arrest and detainment of American citizens without trial or access to legal counsel based merely on the suspicions of the military, was debated under the Bush administration and it was decided that it was illegal.

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