Attorney General Gonzales Calls for Ratification of Illegal NSA Program, ACLU Urges Congress to Reject Call and Stand for the Constitution

August 16, 2006

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Media@dcaclu.org

WASHINGTON - The American Civil Liberties Union today strongly condemned a call by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for Congress to legalize the warrantless surveillance of Americans by the National Security Agency. Specifically, he supported a bill crafted by Vice-President Dick Cheney and Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) that would give the president the option of complying – or not – with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the protections of the Fourth Amendment.

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

"Protecting America does not require trampling American values and violating the Constitution. The administration has failed to follow the laws on the books and use the powerful surveillance tools it has already been given. These tools include some safeguards to ensure that government agents are focusing these intrusive tools on anyone aiding al Qaeda rather than innocent Americans. Congress should not reward the president’s abuse of power with legislation that circumvents the Constitution."

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

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