Former CIA GC Memo to Intel Cmte. Challenges Legal Authority For Domestic Surveillance

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on January 12, 2006

On January 3, 2006 Jeffrey H. Smith, a former General Counsel of the CIA and a former General Counsel of the Senate Armed Services Committee, sent a 16 page memorandum to the Members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, addressing the legal authorities regarding warrantless surveillance of U.S. persons. His conclusion – “The 2001 [Authority for the Military Use of Force] AMUF does not, in my view, justify warrantless electonic surveillance of U.S. persons…”
Related references:

  • Additional information relevant to January 10, 2006 posting, Calls for Investigation into Pentagon Domestic Surveillance Have Generated Response. As reported in the New York Times on January 11, 2006, the NSA IG audit of the domestic surveillance program does not relate to its legal authority, but only to agency adherence to proper procedures.
  • The Congressional Research Service and Constitutional Law Scholars Weigh in on President Bush’s Authorization of Warrantless Surveillance: Why This Controversy Bridges the Partisan Divide, At Least Among Experts, by Elaine Cassel
  • Postings on domestic surveillance
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