ACLU Rebukes White House Rejection of Special Counsel on Warrantless NSA Spying; Says Rhetoric of Legality Contradicts Refusal to Support Full Investigation

February 27, 2006 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union today condemned the White House’s refusal to appoint a special counsel to investigate the warrantless surveillance of Americans conducted by the National Security Agency under the direct approval of President Bush. The ACLU had asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to appoint a special counsel last December, a call that was echoed today by several House Democrats.

The following can be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

“If the president and his allies are so confident as to the warrantless eavesdropping program’s legality, they should welcome an independent investigation. The unwillingness of the administration to support an investigation, independent of political pressure, is only further evidence that they know that they broke the law when they authorized this program.

“The inspectors general at both the Justice and Defense departments have noted that they will not open an inquiry into the truth. A special counsel would be able to conduct a thorough investigation into how the administration broke the law without compromising national security. A majority of Americans already reject the illegal surveillance conducted by the NSA. A special counsel is necessary to determine how the rule of law was broken, a step needed to ensure that all of us, especially the president, abide by our laws and our Constitution.”

To read the ACLU’s letter to the Attorney General calling for a special counsel, go to:

For more on the ACLU’s concerns with the warrantless NSA spying program, go to:

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