Two things in the “we’ll believe it when we see it” department: (1) whether a FISA court will be used and (2) if Bush will let the program expire.
Secret Court to Govern Wiretapping Plan
By LARA JAKES JORDAN, Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
(01-17) 21:25 PST WASHINGTON (AP) —
The Bush administration changed course and agreed Wednesday to let a secret but independent panel of federal judges oversee the government’s controversial domestic spying program. Officials say the secret court has already approved at least one request for monitoring.
The shift will likely end a court fight over whether the warrantless surveillance program was legal.
The program, which was secretly authorized by President Bush shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, was disclosed a little over a year ago, resulting in widespread criticism from lawmakers and civil libertarians who questioned its legality.
The program allowed the National Security Agency — without approval from the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court _to monitor phone calls and e-mails between the United States and other countries when a link to terrorism is suspected.
In a letter to senators Wednesday, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said that “any electronic surveillance that was occurring as part of the Terrorist Surveillance Program will now be conducted subject to the approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.”
Gonzales said Bush would not reauthorize the program once it expires. Justice Department officials later said authorization for one investigation under the warrantless program was set to expire soon, but they would not specify when.
Read the rest here.
* Note: TTT = Trash Talkin’ Thursday