Following up on the Senate Intelligence Committee's concession on overseeing intelligence, the WaPo reports that the new seven-member Senate subcommittee was briefed by the White House yesterday and will visit NSA headquarters on Monday, and a former Bush Justice Department lawyer ripped into the NSA program as illegal:
A former senior national security lawyer at the Justice Department is highly critical of some of the Bush administration's key legal justifications for warrantless spying, saying that many of the government's arguments are weak and unlikely to be endorsed by the courts, according to documents released yesterday.
David S. Kris, a former associate deputy attorney general who now works at Time Warner Inc., concludes that a National Security Agency domestic spying program is clearly covered by a 1978 law governing clandestine surveillance, according to a legal analysis and e-mails sent to current Justice officials.
No matter how the White House or Senate Republicans try to whitewash it, the truth remains that the White House broke the law by bypassing the FISA court in surveilling Americans, and so far, Congress has abdicated its responsibility to rein it in. The battle now moves to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which not coincidentally is now the focus of a new Roots Project initiative mobilizing Pennsylvania voters -- Judiciary Committee Chair Arlen Specter's constituents -- to speak out.