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Public Concern, Expert Skepticism

Gabe Rottman,
Legislative Counsel,
ACLU Washington Legislative Office
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January 10, 2006

A very sharp column over the weekend by New York Times virtuoso Frank Rich, characterizing the NSA snoop scheme and subsequent response as “more of the same incompetence.” He also takes on the administration for all its hinting that critics of the illegal spying are seditionists. Here’s the punchline:

Far from “bringing justice to our enemies,” as Mr. Bush is fond of saying, he may once again be helping them escape the way he did at Tora Bora. The president who once promised to bring a “culture of responsibility” to Washington can and will blame The Times and the rest of the press for his failures. But maybe, if only for variety’s sake, the moment has come to find a new scapegoat. I nominate Showtime.

(Full article is here, for NYT’s Op-Ed fee.)

AP-Ipsos has a new poll out showing a majority of Americans support the requirement that the administration obtain a warrant before launching domestic surveillance.

Note also Washington Post’s Saturday cite of a report from the Congressional Research Service on the legality of the NSA surveillance. The conclusions are not very promising for the White House.

The full report is here (in PDF form). Here’s the Post article.