The Washington Independent

Posts Tagged 2009 inspector generals’ report on warrantless surveillance

Attacking ‘Misrepresentations,’ Brennan Suggests He Played a Role in Domestic Surveillance

By | 08.06.09 | 1:33 pm

I’ll have a broader piece up soon about John Brennan’s speech about counterterrorism, which in many ways represented a stark departure from several key tenets of the Bush administration’s approach. But on one issue that I asked Brennan about, the president’s chief adviser for counterterrorism and homeland security seemed More…

John Yoo’s Defense of Himself Is as Persuasive as Most of His Legal Opinions

By | 07.16.09 | 9:06 am

This is your horrible, dystopian future: John Yoo, the former Office of Legal Counsel official who had a hand in crafting the Bush administration’s detentions, interrogations and warrantless surveillance abuses, writes endless and endlessly misleading defenses of himself. Some people die because of Yoo’s cavalier relationship with the law — More…

Some Bush-Era Legal Memoranda For Surveillance Still In Place

By | 07.13.09 | 8:45 am

Here’s some clarity on a post I wrote Friday. I wondered what Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) meant when he called on President Obama to withdraw certain Justice Department legal memoranda that remain operative. Which memoranda? Apparently some from President George W. Bush’s second term are still in place.

In More…

Feingold: Legal Memos on ‘Blatantly Illegal’ Surveillance Still in Place

By | 07.10.09 | 7:01 pm

No real surprise that progressive Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) would be appalled by the inspectors general report on warrantless surveillance, but this is news to me:

“This report leaves no doubt that the warrantless wiretapping program was blatantly illegal and an unconstitutional assertion of executive power. I once again


Bush Personally Ordered Visit to Ashcroft’s Hospital Bed

By | 07.10.09 | 5:43 pm

One warrantless surveillance mystery solved. My friend Marcy Wheeler beat me to this: George W. Bush personally ordered White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and Chief of Staff Andy Card to visit an ailing Attorney General John Ashcroft in the hospital in March 2004 after Ashcroft’s deputy Jim Comey refused More…

Stuff That’s Missing From the Inspectors General Report on Warrantless Surveillance

By | 07.10.09 | 5:28 pm

1.  Any ballpark estimate — any number at all, really — of how many Americans had their communications intercepted by the NSA through the “President’s Surveillance Program.” The fact that this is missing from an inspectors general report is a glaring oversight.

2. The error rate in collecting terrorism communications. More…

Gonzales’ Testimony on Surveillance Was ‘Confusing, Inaccurate, and … Misleading’

By | 07.10.09 | 4:21 pm

Ah, Alberto Gonzales. After the then-Attorney General presented a slippery account to the Senate Judiciary Committee in July 2007 of, among other subjects, the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance efforts, a group of Democratic senators quickly moved to investigate Gonzales for perjury. The immediate issue was Gonzales’ assertion that Justice More…

‘Most PSP Leads Were Determined Not to Have Any Connection to Terrorism’

By | 07.10.09 | 4:07 pm

The Bush administration called its warrantless surveillance efforts “very, very important to protect the national security of this country,” in the words of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in 2005. Today’s inspectors general report on the President’s Surveillance Program doesn’t really substantiate that assessment. “[M]ost PSP leads were determined More…

Yoo and Only Yoo (Knew About Surveillance)

By | 07.10.09 | 3:12 pm

Sure, the associate attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department is supposed to be in charge of the office. But in 2001, then-OLC chief Jay Bybee “was never read into” the President’s Surveillance Program and instead, his deputy, John Yoo, was the only one More…

CIA Played a Leading Role in Warrantless Surveillance

By | 07.10.09 | 2:50 pm

What do I mean when I say that the inspectors general report on warrantless surveillance shows a larger role for CIA in the post-9/11 surveillance efforts than has been previously disclosed? According to the report, CIA would prepare a threat briefing for President Bush justifying the need for More…