- Sep 23, 2005
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
Hmm...somebody needs to tell Cheny that the original intention of Congress was to act as a check against the executive branch:
Judge Resigns Over Secret Surveillan
By GINA HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 49 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - A federal judge has resigned from a special court set up to oversee government surveillance, apparently in protest of President Bush's secret authorization of a domestic spying program on people with suspected terrorist ties.
U.S. District Judge James Robertson would not comment Wednesday on his resignation, but The Washington Post reported that it stemmed from deep concern that the surveillance program Bush authorized was legally questionable and may have tainted the work of the court. The Post quoted two associates of the judge.
An aide to Robertson said the resignation letter submitted to Chief Justice John Roberts was not being released. Robertson did not step down from his district judgeship in Washington.
Robertson was one of 11 members of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees government applications for secret surveillance or searches of foreigners and U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism or espionage.
The court was established by Congress in 1978 and its members, appointed by the chief justice, do their work in private.
Quoting colleagues of Robertson, the Post said the judge had indicated he was concerned that information gained from the warrantless surveillance under Bush's program subsequently could have been used to obtain warrants under the FISA program.
Robertson's resignation was reported hours after Vice President Dick Cheney strongly defended the surveillance program and called for "strong and robust" presidential powers.
Cheney — a former member of congress, defense secretary and White House chief of staff under President Ford — said executive authority has been eroding since the Watergate and Vietnam eras.
"I believe in a strong, robust executive authority and I think that the world we live in demands it," Cheney said.
And remember folks, Big Brother is watching you.Republicans said Congress must investigate whether Bush was within the law to allow the super-secret National Security Agency to eavesdrop — without warrants — on international calls and e-mails of Americans and others inside the United States with suspected ties to al-Qaida.
"I believe the Congress — as a coequal branch of government — must immediately and expeditiously review the use of this practice," said Sen. Olympia Snowe (news, bio, voting record), R-Maine.