More on NSA Warrantless Surveillance

03.06.06 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

“In my professional opinion, the NSA domestic surveillance program is as blatantly illegal a program as I’ve seen,” said Prof. Harold Hongju Koh, dean of the Yale Law School, at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on February 28.

Others disagreed. “I believe that the inherent authority of the president under Article II, under these circumstances, permits the types of intercepts that are being undertaken,” said former DCI R. James Woolsey.

The opening statements from the February 28 hearing on “Wartime Executive Power and the NSA’s Surveillance Authority” may be found here.

The view that the NSA surveillance activity is illegal was elaborated in a legal memorandum that was presented to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court last week by the Center for National Security Studies and the Constitution Project.

Also last week, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) introduced legislation to establish “to investigate the instances of warrantless wiretapping and spying on U.S. citizens by the National Security Agency and other departments of Government.”