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Commentary :: Human Rights
BTL:Bush Defense of NSA Domestic Spy Program is Challenged in Senate Hearing
09 Feb 2006
Interview with Shayana Kadidal, attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
Bush Defense of NSA Domestic Spy Program is Challenged in Senate Hearing

Interview with Shayana Kadidal, attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, conducted by Scott Harris

In a hearing conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee Feb. 6, Bush administration Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez defended the legality of the president's authorization of the National Security Agency's warrantless domestic surveillance program. The program, which the White House says is intended to prevent future terrorist attacks, has monitored international electronic communications involving individuals living in the U.S. since shortly after Sept. 11, 2001.

Gonzalez repeated the justifications offered by the president for bypassing existing laws restricting government surveillance. The attorney general said the administration viewed the post-9/11 congressional authorization to use force in Afghanistan as providing the legal basis to bypass the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that requires the executive branch to obtain court orders for all domestic wiretaps from a special FISA court. Other arguments made by Gonzales for the program's legality included surveillance conducted by previous presidents before the FISA Act was signed into law. Democrats and some key Republicans on the committee were vocally skeptical of the White House rationale.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Shayana Kadidal, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, which along with the ACLU, have filed lawsuits against President Bush and other top officials challenging the legality of the NSA spy program. Kadidal explains why he believes that the Bush administration has broken the law and what's at stake for the U.S. constitution and the nation's system of checks and balances.

Contact the Center for Constitutional Rights by calling (212) 614-6464 or visit the group's website at

Related links:

American Civil Liberties Union at

"Momentum Builds for Congressional Investigation of Bush's Warrantless Surveillance," interview with The Progressive Editor Matthew Rothschild, conducted by Scott Harris, Between The Lines week ending 1/6/06

"Critics Say Bush Authorization of Domestic Spying Without Court Warrants Constitutes an Impeachable Offense," Interview with First Amendment Foundation Director Kit Gage, conducted by Scott Harris; Between The Lines week ending 12/30/05

LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:
"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
betweenthelines (at)
Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions
©2006 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
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Copyright by the author. All rights reserved.
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