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Feingold Hearing Today on Abuse of “National Security Letters”

Brian Zick

Christy at firedoglake reports: Sen. Russ Feingold will be chairing a Judiciary subcommittee hearing later today — beginning at 3:00 pm ET, due to to slight schedule change — on the overuse and misuse of national security letters by the FBI, and the decided lack of supervision thereof provided within the agency and within the DoJ on that issue. Witnesses will include: former Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA); George Christian, of a library association in Connecticut; Suzanne Spaulding and Peter Swire, and it will at least be webcast on the Committee website (because I haven't been able to confirm if C-Span will be doing coverage as yet). Christy observes That the Patriot Act has end-run this long-held check on the vast power of the state to surveil its population is appalling enough. But that the Bush DoJ and FBI management took that vastly increased power handed to them on a platter by Congress…and did not have even the slightest foresight to establish clear guidelines for its use and internal checks and safeguards to prevent abuse? That screams incompetence at the highest level. And a thorough disrespect for the rule of law and the Bill of Rights and Constitution. For shame. I respectfully disagree with Christy. It ain't incompetence. It's purposeful. It's what Thomas Jefferson described as "a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object."

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