The Bush administration has agreed to shift course and let a secret but independent panel of federal judges oversee the government's controversial domestic spying program.See? Nothing to worry about.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court will have final say in approving wiretaps on communications involving people with suspected terror links, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Wednesday in a letter to the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Since Jan. 10, when the court began overseeing the program, at least one request has been approved to monitor communications of a person believed to be linked to al-Qaida or an associated terror group. ...
... Bush has maintained that the warrantless surveillance program's existence was "fully consistent with my constitutional responsibilities and authorities," and has said he would continue to reauthorize it "for as long as our nation faces a continuing threat from al-Qaida and related groups." He has said circumventing the FISA court "enables us to move faster and quicker."
On Wednesday, the White House said it is satisfied with the new guidelines to address administration officials' concerns about national security.
"The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has put together its guidelines and its rules and those have met administration concerns about speed and agility when it comes to responding to bits of intelligence where we may to be able to save American lives," White House press secretary Tony Snow said.