Monday, February 20, 2006

Bush Fighting to Prevent Investigation into Illegal Spying

In an attempt to prevent a thorough investigation into illegal activities endorsed by President Bush, his administration has intervened repeatedly to stop a call for the truth. This call has been coming from both sides of the aisle. According to The Washington Post, Republican lawmakers are calling for the President to be more honest about the program President Bush uses to spy on American citizens.

President Bush claims that the program is used to spy only on people who are known terrorists or who have links to terrorism. As I've mentioned before, I find it difficult to believe that we have a listing of all their numbers. What most people don't understand is that the President doesn't need a warrant to spy on known terrorists who aren't on American soil. He doesn't need a warrant to spy on known terrorists who are on American soil, at least for 72 hours.(He wouldn't have a damned bit of trouble getting one, either!) What the President can't and won't explain adequately is how the NSA agents determine the difference between a terrorist and my middle-schooler who looks up web sites on Islam and Iraq for a project. Did they make note of my 12-yr-old's email to her Muslim friend in Malaysia? How long will they keep a file on her after they've determined that her only crime is being rude to her younger sister?

While I don't honestly believe the NSA has created a file on my young daughter's internet activities, it is a realistic scenario. Visit enough web sites, make enough phone calls, send enough emails to the wrong part of the world and a red flag is going to go up. The whole idea behind spying is to discover unknown information. Any agency that only listens to the known terrorists isn't doing their job. What most of us want to know as we push to protect our civil liberties is how long is information on innocent American citizens kept on file? Where is this information stored? What is done with it? Who keeps track of it? Will innocent Americans be forever linked to terrorists simply because the NSA listened in on their conversations?

These are just a few of the questions Americans have for our President about the illegal wiretap program he is conducting through the NSA, the FBI and our military. Bush may have bullied members of the intelligence committee into putting off an investigation, but it isn't enough and this won't go away.


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