Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Gonzales to release details of NSA program

It's always nice to see the Attorney General respond so quickly to Midtopia's concerns.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Wednesday he will turn over secret documents detailing the government's domestic spying program, ending a two-week standoff with the Senate Judiciary Committee over surveillance targeting terror suspects....

The documents held by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court — including investigators' applications for permission to spy and judges' orders — will be given to some lawmakers as early as Wednesday.

Gonzales said the documents would not be released publicly. "We're talking about highly classified discussions about highly classified actions of the United States government," the attorney general said.

Good. Congressional oversight is needed to ensure that Congress' concerns are being taken seriously.

And as always, Gonzales is good for an Orwellian laugh:

"It's never been the case where we said we would never provide the access," Gonzales told reporters.

Technically true. What he did do was spend hours saying that turning over details might pose a security risk, with the clear implication that the administration might refuse to do so. And National Intelligence director John Negroponte said that separation of powers might prevent the administration from turning over the documents. So he did everything he could to resist such a turnover without actually saying he wouldn't turn them over.

Now we have to trust our Congressional representatives to do their job.

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