NSA UPDATE….Three weeks ago the Bush administration announced that it was ending the NSA’s domestic spying program and replacing it with a new, more restrictive program that had been approved by the FISA court. Today, Alberto Gonzales agreed to make both the administration’s legal briefs and the court’s order available to Congress:
The decision to hand over the documents, which Mr. Gonzales confirmed to reporters today, will allow members of the House and Senate intelligence committees — as well as select congressional leaders — to review that court order.
….Administration officials cautioned today that lawmakers would only receive documents related to the most recent FISA court orders, and should not expect documentation related to future wiretap requests.
Two comments. First, this puts the Democrats who see these documents under some genuine pressure. Will they meekly go along with the administration’s plans or will they offer up some genuine criticism? I hope for the latter but fear for the former.
Second, if I’m reading this right, the only thing Congress will see is information about the new program. They still won’t have any idea what the original program was all about. Apparently we’re all going to stay in the dark about that.