View Full Version : Democrats Call For NSA Wiretapping Hearing

01-20-2007, 10:22 AM
Democrats call for NSA wiretapping hearing

http://www.rawstory.com/news/2007/Democrats_call_for_NSA_wiretapping_hearing_0119.ht ml

Mike Sheehan
Published: Friday January 19, 2007

A key Democrat and members of a House panel he chairs seek a "full briefing" on the Bush administration's controversial domestic eavesdropping.

"Chairman John Conyers and 19 members of the Judiciary Committee called upon Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to give a full briefing to Committee Members on changes in the Administration's NSA wiretapping program," states a press release issued by Conyers' office today.

In a letter addressed to the Attorney General, Conyers et al. ask "that you arrange a classified briefing of all of the Members of the House Judiciary Committee, along with selected staff with appropriate security clearance, concerning the Administration's new domestic wiretapping program referred to in your January 17 letter to House and Senate members."

Conyers describes Gonzales' offer to brief him directly as "insufficient."

The Michigan Democrat also asks to be provided with "copies of the new court orders, under classified cover, so that we may be better informed on the new program." He adds that "a number of important questions remain unanswered."

To illustrate, Conyers writes, "It is unclear whether the FISC issued blanket orders authorizing surveillance for groups or categories of individuals. The Department also has not stated whether the Administration is engaged in any other surveillance or searches, outside the publicly-known NSA program, without judicial review.

"Finally, your own letter restates the Department's position that the initial program was within the law, raising the question of whether the Administration will return to the use of warrantless surveillance at some point in the future," Conyers concludes.

Besides Rep. Conyers, notable members of the House panel who signed off on the letter include Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), and the first Muslim to serve in Congress, Keith Ellison (D-MN).