Skip to comments.Bush Opens Wiretap Documents to House
Posted on 01/24/2008 10:15:20 AM PST by SmithL
WASHINGTON (AP) --
Ending months of resistance, the White House has agreed to give House members access to secret documents about its warrantless wiretapping program, a congressional official said Thursday.
The Bush administration is trying to convince the House to protect from civil lawsuits the telecommunications companies that helped the government eavesdrop on Americans without the approval of a court. Congress created the court 30 years ago to oversee such activities.
House Intelligence and Judiciary committee members and staff will begin reading the documents at the White House Thursday, said an aide to Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas.
Reyes and ranking Republican Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Michigan requested the documents in May, saying they would not support telecom immunity without them. The Senate committees were given the documents last fall.
The documents include the president's authorization of warrantless wiretapping, White House legal opinions going back to 2001, and the requests sent to the telecommunications companies asking for their assistance, said the official, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the classified program.
The White House's offer comes as the Senate grapples with how to update the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the law that dictates when federal agents must obtain court permission before tapping phone and computer lines inside the United States to gather intelligence on foreign threats. Agents may tap lines outside the country without court oversight.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
al Qaida laughs at the inner workings of our gov’t, hoping the Democrats will prevail in their favor.
The dimocRATS and their minions are doing there best to help al Qaida.
What’s never mentioned is that the program is just an expansion of authorizations already in place to track the communications of organized crime.
I don’t remember the Democrats having a problem with the program then.
Meanwhile we just marked another MLK day with no mention of the Kennedys’ own wiretapping program...
Harry Reid might have...
I expect they’ll call for a special counsel the moment Ried or Pelosi get access. Good call White House. Another winner.
What is the over/under on when we will be reading excerpts of these secret documents in the NYT? 1 or 2 days
That was my first thought also. “Oh, so we can expect leaks of classified information in about 24 hours.”
What’s your source for that? My impression was that it was blanket coverage of some sort. Could be mistaken.
I recently read two books on the CIA’s war with Bush - my info comes from one of those. Damned if I can remember the titles right now. The quote comes from someone involved with the surveillance program.