Thursday, May 11, 2006

How Do You Define Surveillance?

If you're Webster: "Close watch kept over someone or something."

If Webster's right, then you might be in a lot of trouble if you're Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Here is the testimony Gonzales gave while under oath about a month ago to the House Judiciary Committee:

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NADLER: Number two,
can you assure us that there is no warrantless surveillance of calls between two Americans within the United States?

GONZALES: That is not what the president has authorized.

NADLER: Can you assure us that it's not being done?

GONZALES: As I indicated in response to an earlier question, no technology is perfect.

NADLER: OK.

GONZALES: We do have minimization procedures in place...

NADLER: But you're not doing that deliberately?

GONZALES: That is correct.

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I've already noted the USA Today story from today that claims not only has the NSA been keep track of phone calls between two Americans on domestic soil, it's been watching just about all of them.

As the USA Today explains in a Q&A section on the recently-revealed NSA tracking program:

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Q: Does the NSA's domestic program mean that my calling records have been secretly collected?

A: In all likelihood, yes. The NSA collected the records of billions of domestic calls. Those include calls from home phones and wireless phones.

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Something tells me that Tony Snow is going to be regretting his latest career move real soon.

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