ACLU Calls on the Inspectors General of the Intelligence Agencies to Follow the Law

For Immediate Release

ACLU
Contact: 

Matt Allee or Linda Paris, (202) 675-2312; media@dcaclu.org

ACLU Calls on the Inspectors General of the Intelligence Agencies to Follow the Law

and Provide a Public Report on US Wiretapping

WASHINGTON - The
American Civil Liberties Union calls on the Inspectors General of the
Intelligence Agencies to respect the rule of law and make legally
required domestic surveillance reports to Congress completely and
publically available.

The following can be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, director of the Washington Legislative Office of the ACLU: 

"The
IGs' position that the interim report is classified is absurd.  The
interim report, and all that are to follow, should be made completely
and publicly available - no redactions, and no burying them so only a
few select Members of Congress can see them, never to see the light of
day. The interim report is supposed to define the scope of reports to
come. There is no reason why it should be classified. 

"When Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments last summer, it demanded little accountability.  One
of the few things it did ask for was the inclusion of a provision
requiring the inspectors general of U.S. intelligence agencies to
produce the first public report on the administration's wiretapping
program. Newsweek reports that the first report was not only not made public, but it was marked classified.  

"Kudos to both Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) and to Newsweek
for bringing to light the latest over-classification from this
administration that has been allowed to operate in the shadows. Bush
officials stamp secret on every document they can -or in this case,
where they can't.

"Saturday
is the 30th anniversary of the original Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act. Congress never should have passed the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments - the original FISA was better
left as it was and has been for thirty years before being gutted by
Congress last summer. But since Congress did pass the Amendments, the
government should at least abide by the law and make the reports to
Congress public.

"House
Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), responded
to the CIA's Inspector General with a letter asking him to `please
explain why you're not following the law.' And, Reyes asked that the
CIA's IG issue a `preservation order' to ensure that the Bush
administration doesn't destroy records pertaining to the wiretapping
program. The ACLU could not agree with Reyes more, there should be no
destroying records on the wiretapping program."

For more information go to www.aclu.org/fisa

 

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