Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Attorney General says Bush will keep using PATRIOT Act powers even if Congress votes "no"

A footnote in Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales's 42-page legal memo defending President Bush's domestic spying program appears to argue that the administration does not need Congress to extend the USA PATRIOT Act in order to keep using the law's investigative powers against terror suspects.
The memo states that Congress gave Bush the power to investigate terror suspects using whatever tactics he deemed necessary when it authorized him to use force against Al Qaeda. When Congress later passed the PATRIOT Act, Bush already had the power to use enhanced surveillance techniques against Al Qaeda, according to the footnote.
Thus, legal specialists say, the administration is asserting that Bush would be able to keep using the powers outlined in the PATRIOT Act for Al Qaeda investigations, regardless of whether Congress reauthorizes the law.

No comments: