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By John Ashcroft, the United States attorney general from 2001 to 2005. He now heads a consulting firm that has telecommunications companies as clients (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 05/11/07):

For almost two years, the country has debated whether the Bush administration acted properly and lawfully in undertaking emergency surveillance operations of suspected foreign terrorists on presidential authorization in the wake of 9/11. For several months, we have been debating bills that seek to modernize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court statute.

There are many complex and difficult issues associated with these debates, but whether to terminate the huge lawsuits that have been filed against the nation’s major telecommunications carriers accused of cooperating with classified counterterrorism programs is not one of them.…  Seguir leyendo »

By John D. Rockefeller IV, a Democrat from West Virginia, is chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (THE WASHINGTON POST, 31/10/07):

In the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, the Bush administration had a choice: Aggressively pursue potential terrorists using existing laws or devise new, secret intelligence programs in uncharted legal waters.

Unfortunately, President Bush often chose the latter, and the legitimacy and effectiveness of our efforts to fight terrorism were dramatically undermined.

The president's warrantless surveillance program and his decision to go it alone -- without input from Congress or the courts -- have had devastating consequences. One is that private companies, which would normally comply with legitimate national security requests, now have incentive to say no.…  Seguir leyendo »