A blog by Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Brian Tannebaum. Commenting on criminal law issues of local and national interest.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Big Brother Bush: "Listen, Do You Want To Know A Secret?"

The New York Times reports that President Bush secretly lifted some limits on spying in the United States after 9/11 by secretly authorizing the National Security Agency (NSA) to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying.

The story appears in the New York Times here

The President apparently signed an order in 2002 allowing the NSA to monitor the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of people inside the United States without warrants (pesky little things they are)

The reason?

To track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda.

So listen to this! - According to the Times: "Some officials familiar with the continuing operation have questioned whether the surveillance has stretched, if not crossed, constitutional limits on legal searches.

Good question.

And this from the Times: "Nearly a dozen current and former officials, who were granted anonymity because of the classified nature of the program, discussed it with reporters for The New York Times because of their concerns about the operation's legality and oversight."

Water cooler conversation at NSA: "Hey, uh, Bob, you think this stuff's legal, chuckle, chuckle?"

The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, because "it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny."

Here's the funny part of the article - you can read the rest for yourself:

"It is not clear how much the members of Congress were told about the presidential order and the eavesdropping program. Some of them declined to comment about the matter, while others did not return phone calls.

Brian Tannebaum is a criminal defense attorney in Miami, Florida practicing in state and federal court. To learn more about Brian and his firm, Tannebaum Weiss, please click the link: http://www.tannebaumweiss.com/our_lawyers.php

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