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White House Spy Docs Show Surveillance Was Illegal, Senator Feingold Charges
By Ryan Singel, Wired
Senator Russell Feingold, (D-Wisconsin), who cast the only Senate vote against the Patriot Act and now sits on the Select Intelligence committee, seems to have looked at secret spying documents given by the White House to that committee and found that they do not exonerate the government's secret spying programs or the phone and internet companies that secretly aided them.
The White House seemingly provided the documents in exchange for legislation that would free its telecom partners from being sued by Americans for violating their privacy. The Senate Intelligence Committee is holding a closed meeting on the bill today.
According to a press release:
When the Committee considers this legislation today, I will also fight to reject immunity for anyone alleged to have cooperated with the Administration’s illegal warrantless wiretapping program. The documents made available by the White House for the first time this week only further demonstrate that the program was illegal and that there is no basis for granting retroactive immunity to those who allegedly cooperated. The one silver lining of the flawed FISA bill passed in August was that it had a 6-month expiration date. It would be shameful to miss this opportunity to fix the law.
A spokeswoman for Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, who unsuccessfully tried to subpoena documents about the secret spying programs, says that the White House has not yet promised to share the documents with his committee, but has not yet said no, either.