Posts Tagged ‘Politics’


Talk of the Nation–assessing the latest FISA fix

I joined two members of Congress today to discuss the latest change to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

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Wire tapping, and more

No big surprise here, but an important admission from Mike McConnell, the Director of National Intelligence. In a letter to Arlen Specter (Penn.), the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, McConnell acknowledges that the president authorized the National Security Agency to undertake “various intelligence activities,” after the 9/11, aimed at preventing another terrorist attack. […]

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Can the government spy on foreign communications inside the United States?

Members of the House Intelligence Committee have been engaged in a boisterous debate the past few days over how to change the law that governs electronic surveillance. Republicans are calling for an overhaul backed by the Director of National Intelligence, and Democrats are pushing back, saying that the administration’s proposed changes would eliminate many of […]

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Why was Al Gonzales in John Ashcroft’s hospital room?

That’s what Senators want to know. Gonzales is testifying right now before the Judiciary Committee–not exactly his favorite audience–about a host of issues. But earlier, Senators grilled him over the famous nighttime visit Gonzales and then White House Chief of Staff Andy Card paid to John Ashcroft, back in March 2004, when the attorney general […]

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Homeland Security’s rapid exodus

My colleague at Government Executive magazine, Katherine McIntire Peters, has a good story about the exodus of senior officials in the Homeland Security Department’s upper ranks. Senior Homeland Security Department employees left their jobs over the past two years at rates significantly higher than the average for other Cabinet-level departments, according to a report released […]

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Trouble in DHS’ Upper Ranks

A congressional report out this morning leads off with a story I wrote about the Homeland Security Department’s reliance on politically appointed leaders. Spencer Hsu has a good piece in this morning’s Washington Post about that report and the administration’s failure to fill about a quarter of the top leadership posts at DHS, “creating a […]

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The Coming Storm

On November 2, 2004, top officials from the Homeland Security Department held a small Election Night party at a Washington restaurant to watch the presidential election returns come in on television. Nearly every leader there owed his job to the man then fighting for his own job — George W. Bush. The department was almost […]

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