Apparently the letter that the Department of Justice released a few weeks ago providing legal cover for Dubya's domestic spying operation didn't take. So, yesterday the DOJ released a 42-page brief (in essence) fleshing out the arguments. There are no new arguments in there, only more in-depth discussions of the arguments made in the initial letter:
The basic thrust of the legal justification was the same - that the president has inherent authority as commander in chief to order wiretaps without warrants and that the N.S.A. operation does not violate either a 1978 law governing intelligence wiretaps or the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches.As you might expect, not everyone is convinced:
ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero criticized the release of the new legal review.
'Any opinion coming from the Justice Department has to be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism, given Attorney General Gonzales' involvement in the warrantless spying as White House counsel,' he said in a written statement. 'The fox may now be guarding the henhouse, which is why we need an independent special counsel.'
Let the hearings commence!