Long-Awaited Warrantless Surveillance Report Finally Released

By
Friday, July 10, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Last year, the Democratic Congress enthusiastically acquiesced to President George W. Bush’s insistence on carving out individualized suspicion and other privacy protections from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The Democrats did so to preempt the charge of being weak on national security from the presidential campaign — didn’t work — and then-Sen. Barack Obama, who may have figured that selling out civil liberties was the better part of aspirational valor, voted for the bill. If there was any comfort to the civil libertarians, it was that what became the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 mandated that the inspectors general of the Departments of Defense, Justice, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the CIA and the National Security Agency had to launch a review of how the warrantless surveillance efforts actually worked, complete with an assessment of “legal reviews of the Program.” It was July 2008.

A year later, the report is complete, and I’ve just gotten a copy of it. What does it say? I’m still reading it, but one thing it says is that the CIA’s involvement in the program is deeper than has been reported. And one interesting bonus fact: the report calls the program the “President’s Surveillance Program,” rather than the manipulative “Terrorist Surveillance Program” handle the Bush administration gave the program when it became public in order to put critics in a tight spot. (“What? You oppose surveillance for dangerous terrorists who want to kill your grandchildren????”)

More as I read the report.

Update: Here’s the basis for switching up the nomenclature, and it comes with a point of pride. Two years ago, in July 2007, Paul Kiel and I tried to make sense of then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ congressional testimony about the “Terrorist Surveillance Program” and concluded that there must have been more than one secret surveillance program authorized by President Bush beginning in 2001. Today the IGs’ report bears us out:

The specific intelligence activities that were permitted by the Presidential Authorizations remain highly classified, except that beginning in December 2005 the President and other Administration officials acknowledged that these activities included the interception without a court order of certain international communications where there is “a reasonable basis to conclude that one party to the communication is a member of al-Qai’da, affiliated with al-Qai’da, or a member of an organization affiliated with al-Qai’da.” The President and other Administration officials referred to this publicly disclosed activity as the “Terrorist Surveillance Program,” a convention we follow in this unclassified report. We refer to other intelligence activities under the Presidential Authorizations as the “Other Intelligence Activities.” The specific details of the Other Intelligence Activities remain highly classified, although the Attorney General publicly acknowledged the existence of such activities in August 2007. Together, the Terrorist Surveillance Program and the Other Intelligence Activities comprise the PSP.

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Comments

15 Comments

Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » There Is Always Something Worse
Pingback posted July 10, 2009 @ 3:50 pm

[...] As Josh Marshall suggested years ago, Alberto Gonzales in fact used extra-clever word parsing when he described warrantless wiretapping as a “terrorist surveillance program”. You will love what they called the other program. [...]


BREAKING | Design Website Blog
Pingback posted July 10, 2009 @ 4:22 pm

[...] domestic surveillance programs much broader than previously known. Spencer Ackerman has more. Here’s the joint report from the inspectors [...]


BREAKING | Design Website
Pingback posted July 10, 2009 @ 4:49 pm

[...] domestic surveillance programs much broader than previously known. Spencer Ackerman has more. Here’s the joint report from the inspectors general. We’re going through the report [...]


BREAKING - MEME ORANDUM
Pingback posted July 10, 2009 @ 6:05 pm

[...] domestic surveillance programs much broader than previously known. Spencer Ackerman has more. Here’s the joint report from the inspectors [...]


The domestic surveillance report is out « Later On
Pingback posted July 10, 2009 @ 6:39 pm

[...] administration at 3:39 pm by LeisureGuy Spencer Ackerman will be doing a series of posts on it. His first: Last year, the Democratic Congress enthusiastically acquiesced to President George W. Bush’s [...]


Destiny
Comment posted July 10, 2009 @ 7:06 pm

I want to know how my name got involved in this program or mess to the point that my family is being hounded. I have no international connections, I have not taken trips to any terror listed countries, I have not spoken to anyone involved in terrorism nor am I connected in anyway shape or form. However, I do find myself under a public campaign of disinformation where the general public is watching my every move including some federal agencies. I want someone to charge me with wrong doing or let my family be at peace. I have also never been tried for any crime. So what's the problem. I've tried to keep a low profile, I've tried to get legal services to get to the bottom of things and I've even attempted to talk to a few in the media whom I thought would be interested in truth, reason, fairness, and legality. I however, do have opinions about lots of things including the Bush Cheiney dictatorship. So maybe that's what the issue was or is. Nonetheless, I paid my way through an education and have worked hard so I refuse to let anyone tell me when and how to breath.

I am the real life example of someone who ended in the illegal wire taps of American citizens because of my focus on family. I did sign a petition against the Iraq war so maybe that is the reason my name ended up on this blacklist. Let me put it in perspective my two kids are unable to enjoy there childhood without inteference from the government agencies. So I ask why?? But I am able to speak because I know I have not done anything wrong. The second amendment does provide for free speech the last I recalled. You know the kind we wish Iran would grant it's citizens because democarcy is a good thing. You can find more of my story on this site: http://www.usagovsponsorterror.com


sgwhiteinfla
Comment posted July 10, 2009 @ 7:08 pm

Just throwing it out there, but could THIS be what Panetta briefed Congress on last month? Knowing it would be coming out soon?


teddysanfran
Comment posted July 10, 2009 @ 7:47 pm

It would be better if the IG report called it the B/CSP — the Bush/Cheney Surveillance Program. Calling it the President's Program bears a remarkable — and unfortunate — resemblance to PEPFAR.


Watchtower Headlines – July 11, 2009 « All Along The Watchtower
Pingback posted July 10, 2009 @ 11:52 pm

[...] 9/11 CNN International Wall Street Journal – The Associated Press – Salon – The Washington Independent all 426 news [...]


mikey
Comment posted July 11, 2009 @ 1:35 pm

The actions by the bush/cheney gang amounts to Treason at the worse and Criminal at least against the People of the United States and it's Constitution under the guise of National Defense and Homeland Security.These titles are complete BS and it all was intentional unlawful spying, data mining and collection for raw political power and

These bush thugs, hoodlums and criminals by their actions are a million times worst than McCarthy, COINTEL PRO, and Operation Chaos and the “Red Squads” who just moved dossiers into true believes basements when ordered to destroy them. Now their hi tech true believers hide under the guise and protection inside of NSA and other gov't outfits.

The American people should be in the streets with pitchforks and torches.


johnhkennedy
Comment posted July 12, 2009 @ 12:56 pm

I agree with mikey “Treason at the worst and Criminal at least against the People of the United States and it's Constitution “

The time is now!

SIGN THE PETITION
calling for a special prosecutor at ANGRYVOTERS.ORG

http://ANGRYVOTERS.ORG


hocnoble
Comment posted May 17, 2010 @ 6:12 pm

dear destiny, i'm a pulitzer winner, writing a book on cheney, like to tell your story. can you email me:
hocnoble@gmail.com


hocnoble
Comment posted May 17, 2010 @ 6:18 pm

dear destiny, i'm a pulitzer winner, writing a book on cheney, like to tell your story. can you email: hocnoble@game.com


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