Friday, January 19, 2007

Democrats call for NSA wiretapping hearing


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


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.

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