01/12/2006: More Legal Opinions on the "Illegality" of NSA Spying
Via a post by ReddHedd (Firedoglake)
"Former CIA General Counsel Jeffrey Smith has presented the Senate Intelligence Committee with a 14-page brief on why the Preznit's authorization for NSA domestic spying without a warrant is illegal.
As ABC points out, Smith is a Democrat. But if you think that means he's a partisan hack who is soft on national security matters, you can think again: he is a hawk who worked with Sam Nunn (D-GA) on the Armed Services Committee as their counsel before moving over to the CIA's legal department. (ABC conveniently fails to point out that Smith has been a defense and intelligence hawk throughout his career, and sticks to the Democrat label only. Convenient.) ABC reports that:
"...Smith argues "it is not credible that the 2001 authorization to use force provides authority for the president to ignore the requirements of FISA."
He said that if the president's arguments for the wiretaps are sustained "it would be a dramatic expansion of presidential authority affecting the rights of our fellow citizens that undermines the checks and balances of our system, which lie at the very heart of the Constitution."
[But the ABC link has been moved (?)] So, I tracked down from Raw Story the 14 page Memo.
FYI Jeffrey Smith is also a Former General Counsel for the Senate Armed Services Committee (and a Hawk on these issues).
Give this memo a read through.
Karen on 01.12.06 @ 06:52 PM CST