Suddenly There Came A Tapping…

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A bill that would expand George W. Bush’s power to wiretap American telephones is headed for the Senate Judiciary Committee next Thursday, according to The Raw Story. Written by Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter, the bill institutes program-wide warrants that do not expire for a year.

The original intention of the committee was to bring NSA wiretapping into compliance with FISA guidelines, but as it reads now, Specter’s bill gives Bush even more power. Specter is co-author, with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, of another bill that would do more to limit NSA wiretapping and would also require judicial review. That bill is also scheduled to appear before the committee next Thursday.

The mandatory judicial review is a sticking point for the White House, whose spokespeople said that “you can trust us….Just don’t make it mandatory for us.”

Specter has expressed frustration at having to write a wiretapping bill when he does not know the details of the NSA wiretapping program.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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