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POLICE STATE / MILITARY -
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NSA program is reminiscent of the COINTELPRO program used to spy on civil rights leaders

Posted in the database on Wednesday, December 28th, 2005 @ 16:48:19 MST (1126 views)
from Bella Ciao  

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Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) expressed outrage and concern about President Bush’s decision to bypass the US Constitution and laws to permit the National Security Agency (”NSA”) to spy on American citizens.

“The revelation of this NSA program is very problematic,” said Congresswoman Waters. “The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (”FISA”) was passed in 1978 to establish clear laws governing the NSA and other intelligence agencies in response to these agencies spying on Americans during the 1960s. The law set the legal framework for foreign intelligence gathering. FISA is intended to ensure that Americans are protected from government intrusion in their personal lives by requiring, among other things, warrants for wiretaps. By unilaterally authorizing the NSA to conduct these investigations, the President has bypassed important safeguards incorporated in FISA and has jeopardized the fundamental rights of all Americans.”

“The description of the NSA program is reminiscent of the COINTELPRO program in which the FBI, under J. Edgar Hoover, spied on the leaders of the civil rights movement, including the Black Panther Party. During the COINTELPRO program, the FBI attempted to neutralize the Black Panthers through the use of informants and covert activities. It was inexcusable when Hoover spied on the Black Panthers and other civil rights leaders in the 1960s; it is inexcusable when President Bush spies on Americans in 2005.”

Congresswoman Waters said, “The House of Representatives and the Senate must fulfill its constitutional duty and hold hearings on the NSA program. We can not hide behind the false argument that this program was authorized in the name of national security. If the President believed he needed more power to conduct the war on terrorism, he should have asked the Congress to authorize such powers, not declare them on his own.”

Congresswoman Waters said, “It is important to note that telling the House and Senate Party Leaders and the Chair and Ranking Members of the two Intelligence Committees about the program is not Congressional oversight or approval as the Administration implies.”

“Furthermore, the President’s claim that no Member of Congress expressed concern about the program is false. In 2003, Senator John Rockefeller wrote Vice-President Cheney expressing concern about the program and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has also said that she expressed her concerns about the program to the Administration. The President knows full well that this program was classified and these Members of Congress would have violated the law if they went public with their concerns about the NSA program. These attacks are yet another attempt by the President, the Vice-President and other Administration officials to smear its critics and mislead the American people about the justifications for their actions. We saw the Administration’s tactics during the run up to the war in Iraq and the leaking of Valerie Plame’s name and now we see it in the justifications for spying on American citizens.”

“The existence of the NSA program is exactly why many Members of Congress have misgivings about reauthorizing the Patriot Act as the President demands. Many of us, Democrat and Republican, are concerned that the Patriot Act could allow the Administration to violate the civil rights of Americans,” concluded Congresswoman Waters.

http://blog.pdamerica.org/?p=475



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