The NY Times reports that George Bush allowed the super-secretive National Security Agency (NSA) to conduct domestic spying---and here's the kicker--WITHOUT THE COURT-APPROVED WARRANT that is normally required.
Republican Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committe, has said he will hold hearings on the issue next year, and stated "There is no doubt that this is inappropriate."
Former NSA General Counsel Elizabeth Rindskopft said she found it troubling that such a change to our spying policy would be made my executive order, while a former senior official specializing in security law said "This is really a sea change. It's almost a mainstay of this country that the N.S.A. only does foreign searches."
Equally, troubling, the New York Times sat on this story for a year. They say administration officials asked them not to publish the story, for fear it would tip off would-be terrorists (READ: or maybe even those pesky peace groups, speaking out against the war). The newspaper says it delayed publication on this story for a year, in order to "conduct additional reporting."
(Or maybe the "liberal" New York Times held off on the story, fearing it might negatively impact Junior in the 2004 election).
On Capitol Hill today, the Senate (wisely) rejected the renewal of portions of the U.S. Patriot Act (a.k.a the Spy Act, b.k.a. the Civil Liberties Abuses Act).