Monday, January 16, 2006

A Retired Intelligence Analyst Looks at Bush and FISA

In my over twenty years in the intelligence world, with CIA, DIA and the Army’s National Ground Intelligence Center, I was constantly reminded of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and it’s clear prohibition against spying on United States’ Citizens. Every year we were required to attend refresher classes on the Act and the language which spelled out what the Intelligence Community’s role was in gathering intelligence on foreign but not domestic targets. The prohibition against spying on domestic targets was absolute; there were no exceptions for any reason and it applied to all levels of government. Moreover if someone in authority ordered you to violate FISA and to spy on a US citizen you were required under FISA to report this illegal order and refuse to obey it. If you acquiesced to this request you were just as guilty as the party who gave the order.

Each year we were required to examine all files we held including electronic data base material, to be sure we held no information of US citizens. If any information on US citizens had inadvertently been collected we were required to report what was in the file how we had obtained, it and to purge it immediately. Any violation of FISA, even an inadvertent one, was treated as a very serious matter and would trigger an investigation by security personnel. It could lead to at the very least a notation in your personnel file and at the very worst your dismissal.

Given my experience, I believe George Bush has deliberately violated FISA by his ordering The National Security Agency to spy against US citizens with out first obtaining a court order. There is nothing in FISA which permits the President to order this action without a court order and his failure to do so is grounds for impeachment. Those senior officials at NSA are also in violation of FISA and should be removed immediately. I call on those of you who read this to call your congressional representative and demand an immediate investigation be undertaken to ascertain if George Bush should be impeached. If we are, as we claim to be, a nation of laws then we must show that this is not simply rhetoric and act. No one, no matter how lofty their position, is above the law.