FISA Fights Back

FISA FIGHTS BACK….The 4th Circuit Court isn’t the only pissed off court these days. The secret FISA court is pretty unhappy too:

Several members of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said in interviews that they want to know why the administration believed secretly listening in on telephone calls and reading e-mails of U.S. citizens without court authorization was legal.

….Presiding Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly…told fellow FISA court members by e-mail Monday that she is arranging for them to convene in Washington, preferably early next month, for a secret briefing on the program, several judges confirmed yesterday.

….The judges could, depending on their level of satisfaction with the answers, demand that the Justice Department produce proof that previous wiretaps were not tainted, according to government officials knowledgeable about the FISA court. Warrants obtained through secret surveillance could be thrown into question. One judge, speaking on the condition of anonymity, also said members could suggest disbanding the court in light of the president’s suggestion that he has the power to bypass the court.

Did you catch that last sentence? “Why do we even exist if the Bush administration claims absolute wartime power to do anything it wants without our approval?”

Good question. It’s a proposition I’d like to see Bush try to defend publicly.