American Bar Association denounced President Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program
Sunday, February 19, 2006
On Monday, the American Bar Association denounced President Bush's program of domestic surveillance without court issued warrants. The program has been the subject of much debate, with the opposition claiming it is unconstitutional, and supporters saying that it is constitutional and that it helps to catch terrorists.
In the past, wiretap warrants could be secretly obtained from a special court created by the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or publicly obtained from any federal court. The Bush administration maintains that the congressional measure authorizing war in September 2001 empowered eavesdropping without any court issued warrant. The ABA has also asked Congress to affirm that granting such authority was not its intention.
President Bush has claimed that only a small number of Americans were subject to NSA eavesdrop without the usual requisite warrants. But, Russell Tice, who worked for the NSA for 20 years, has disagreed, saying that millions of Americans could be affected "if the full range of secret NSA programs is used."
Mr. Tice said that individual conversations can be isolated based upon keywords, such as 'jihad', but such technology is most often used for keyword based traffic analysis of the conversations of suspects, as well as their acquaintances.
The ABA sets academic standards for law schools and controls the code of ethical standards for lawyers.
Last May, the NSA revoked Tice's security clearance based upon so-called psychological concerns, and later dismissed him. Tice has responded that this is simply the NSA's way of dealing with whistleblowers. NSA has made no further comment.
- Anna Johnson. "Lawyers Group Says Bush Exceeds His Powers" — , February 14, 2006
- "NSA Whistleblower Alleges Illegal Spying" — , January 10, 2006