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November 19, 2006

Why Make Up New Lies When You Still Have Some Perfectly Good Old Ones Sitting Around?

I'm pleased to see Alberto Gonzales is still trotting out the same old crap about the NSA surveillance program. Here he is at an event yesterday:

The TSP ["Terrorist Surveillance Program"] is lawful. The president established the Program under both the authority given to him by Congress when it passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and by his authority under the Constitution.

Dick Cheney made the same case on Friday:

We're confident because the Terrorist Surveillance Program rests on firm legal ground. The Joint Authorization to Use Military Force, passed by Congress after 9/11, provides more than enough latitude for these activities. Therefore the warrant requirements of the FISA law do not apply to this wartime measure.

What I like about this is that new lies on their part would require us to figure out exactly how they're lying. Whereas if you want to understand this old lie, you can just read this old article of mine.

Posted at November 19, 2006 03:44 PM | TrackBack

So are they saying that they've used military force against US citizens?

Posted by: Scott at November 19, 2006 11:45 PM

There's actually something very important you've left out of your analysis. The AUMF says that it authorizes "all necessary and appropriate force." Taken on its own, one could argue that this might include any measure of surveillance - I would disagree, but it is not downright laughable. Consider, though, 18 USC 2511 (2)(f), which clearly enumerates several statutes as the "exclusive means by which electronic surveillance [...] may be conducted." The AUMF is not on this list; hence, it cannot have authorized electronic surveillance.

Posted by: David at November 20, 2006 06:12 PM