ACLU Decries Senate Republicans’ Switch on NSA Spying Bill, Says Latest Legislation Still Fails to Protect Rule of Law

September 25, 2006

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Media@dcaclu.org

WASHINGTON - Following an announcement that Senators Larry Craig (R-ID), John Sununu (R-NH) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) have dropped their objections and now support the administration’s flawed NSA warrantless surveillance bill, the American Civil Liberties Union decried the move as a failure to protect the rule of law.

The bill, S.3931, the "National Security Surveillance Act," crafted by Vice-President Dick Cheney and Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) would put into law the warrantless surveillance the administration has admitted to conducting. The bill would permit secret, warrantless electronic surveillance of Americans’ phone conversations, e-mails and stored electronic communication records without individualized judicial review.

The following may be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

"It’s clear that these three senators have caved in to partisan political pressure. Apparently they’re more concerned with election outcomes than respecting the rule of law or preserving the Constitution. The Cheney-Specter bill authorizes wiretapping innocent Americans without an individual warrant. In agreeing to the bill, these senators have abandoned their role to act as a check on executive power. We urge the full Senate to act responsibly and reject the proposal."

For more on the ACLU’s concerns with the NSA warrantless surveillance program, go to: www.aclu.org/nsaspying

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