Gonzales Invokes Actions of Other Presidents in Defense of U.S. Spying
Mr. Gonzales, in his speech, cited the arc of history in justifying an expansive view of presidential power. He said the country's "long tradition of wartime enemy surveillance," often without warrants, was seen in numerous historical precedents, including George Washington's interception of mail between the British and Americans, telegraph wiretapping in the Civil War, Woodrow Wilson's order in World War I to intercept cable communications between Europe and the United States and Franklin Roosevelt's order after the bombing of Pearl Harbor to intercept all communications traffic into and out of the United States.
Mr. Gonzales said that government lawyers had carefully reviewed the N.S.A. program numerous times. It was found to be legal, he said, under both the president's inherent constitutional authority as commander in chief and under a resolution passed by Congress in the days after the Sept. 11 attacks that authorized Mr. Bush to use "all necessary and appropriate force" against those responsible.
A report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service earlier this month, however, called that particular claim into question, suggesting that Congress never intended to give the president power to order wiretaps without a warrant.
comments powered by Disqus
- New museum in Poland -- the grandest space created since 1989 -- tells the story of the Jews
- Lewinsky mistreated by authorities in investigation of Clinton, report says
- Scientists Say Proof Of Jack The Ripper's Identity Is Fatally Flawed
- Memorial for black Revolutionary War soldiers finds spot on Mall after 30 years
- Sherlock Holmes star to feature in a new movie about Alan Turning
- How Laurel Thatcher Ulrich caught up with the past
- Postal Workers Take on Harvard President, historian Drew Faust
- Symposium held in honor of John D’Emilio
- Thousands of Historic Archives from British Asylums to Go Online
- American Studies Association boycott of Israel: Conservatives say it’s weakening