Monday, September 18

Bush wants pardon, more surveillance leeway

Why is this issue nearly absent from the news right now?

The Bush administration is asking for their illegal wiretapping to be ruled legal, and to be allowed to engage in even more extensive surveillance than they did—or admit to doing, at least.

The U.S. Senate is considering a bill to accomplish these goals, after it passed a subcommittee vote. But there seems to be little discussion of it in the papers.

Wired News has a good article on this, and the LA Times op-ed page says "No Rubber Stamp for Bush" on this one. is working to bring attention to the Senate vote.

Otherwise, what's the point of having laws about these things? The way the Bush administration has gone about it, they just ignored the law until someone found out and made a stink, and then worked to get the law changed to suit what they wanted to do, while protecting themselves from any liability.

Some call Bush "King George" because of this. The New York Times carries an op-ed by Berkeley professor John Yoo defending Bush's practices. (Read it in the International Herald Tribune [LINK FIXED], which is always free.) But astonishingly, the paper doesn't note in its bio line for Yoo that he was a former Department of Justice lawyer under the Bush administration, and was instrumental in writing their policies on interrogating prisoners.

These New Yorker articles talk about Yoo's role: "A Deadly Interrogation," "Outsourcing Torture," "The Memo," and "The Hidden Power."


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