Adding to the Rap Sheet

From Holden:

Chimpy’s warrantless snooping program is illegal, and so were his “consultations” with Congress in regards to his illegal program.

A legal analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service concludes that the Bush administration’s limited briefings for Congress on the National Security Agency’s domestic eavesdropping without warrants are “inconsistent with the law.”

The analysis was requested by Representative Jane Harman, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who said in a Jan. 4 letter to President Bush that she believed the briefings should be open to all the members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

Instead, the briefings have been limited to the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate and of the Intelligence Committees, the so-called Gang of Eight.


The Congressional Research Service memorandum, sent to the Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, explores the requirement in the National Security Act of 1947 that the committees be kept “fully and currently informed” of intelligence activities. It notes that the law specifically allows notification of “covert actions” to the Gang of Eight, but says the security agency’s program does not appear to be a covert action program.

As a result, the memorandum says, limiting the briefings to just eight members of Congress “would appear to be inconsistent with the law.”