Wednesday, December 21, 2005

FISA and Surveillance

NRO's George Conway has a balanced take on the question, and he looks at the legalities in a way that I'm not able to do right now.
It seems to me that it’s a good idea for the Government to be doing what the President says it’s doing. But is it legal? It seems that the Government’s surveillance program probably legal under the Constitution, but, unfortunately, it’s not clear that it is legal under the 1978 federal statute governing foreign intelligence gathering, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, FISA.
George's intro very gently points out that the political case is going to be very hard for the Democrats to make, however. The American people expect that we're listening to Al Qaeda sigint. A failure to touch the proper base in that effort isn't going to have any traction for anyone except the already frothingly anti-Bush hard left.

Update: Mark Levin disagrees somewhat with George's position in this Corner posting.

1 comment:

mythago said...

Nice frame, Robert, but no go. It's not merely the left, frothing or otherwise, questioning the idea that the law can be ignored simply because we're fighting terrorists. Some on the right are beginning to wonder how such a precedent would play out with a Democrat in the White House.