Sunday, August 05, 2007

Bush Gets Spying Blank Check

By Robert Parry
August 5, 2007

Eager to leave for its August recess, Congress handed George W. Bush another blank check on executive power, letting him order up spying directives against a vast number of people, including Americans, if they are physically outside the United States.

The “Protect America Act of 2007” sets the standard for a surveillance order – which can last for up to one year – as simply that it be “directed at a person reasonably believed to be located outside the United States.”

The bill’s advocates claim it is intended to intercept communications when at least one party is linked to a terrorist group or a terrorist affiliate and is outside the United States. But the bill’s language doesn’t limit the surveillance to “terrorists” or “enemy combatants” – indeed those words are not mentioned in the legislation.

Read on.

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