Justice Department Continues to Stonewall on NSA Spying Program

March 8, 2006

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Media@aclu.org

NEW YORK -- In response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Justice Department today released documents on the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program. The ACLU said the documents, which include copies of articles, are a rehash of previously released information, and charged the Justice Department with stonewalling on its obligation to comply with a federal court order.

The following statement can be attributed to ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero.

“We would expect the Bush administration to be eager to prove to the public that the warrantless surveillance program is within the law, as Alberto Gonzales has repeatedly claimed. Yet the government is once again refusing to inform Americans of the extent to which our phone conversations and e-mails are monitored without court approval.

“History has shown us what happens when the government is allowed to spy on innocent Americans without judicial or Congressional oversight, and Congress passed laws to prevent the abuses of executive power that were rampant in the Nixon administration. Our system of democracy depends on the rule of law, and not even the president can issue illegal orders that violate Constitutional principles.

“Some members of Congress are now eager to bail out the president by ratifying his illegal actions after the fact, but we need to know the facts before we take any action.”

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

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