The AP’s Peter Yost is reporting that 5 federal judges have testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the NSA intercept program. Here’s a glimpse into the article:

Five federal judges gave a boost Tuesday to legislation that would bring court scrutiny to the Bush administration’s domestic spying program. At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing chaired by Sen. Arlen Specter, (R-PA), the judges reacted favorably to his proposal that would require the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to conduct regular reviews of the four-year-old program.

How quaint. Just what would the FISA court review? Whether the NSA is reviewing only communications that either originate or end in a foreign country? Or would they eventually require approving warrants for these intercepts? If they aren’t moving towards warrants, then what would the FISA court be doing that the Judiciary committees can’t do?

This is a typical Washington power grab. Specter and other senators don’t like that they’re out of the power loop on this. The judges like Specter’s legislation because it’d give them additional powers and responsibilities.

Another question about the legislation: If warrants were eventually required, what standard would be set for granting them? Would they be able to issue warrants when data mining techniques are used? If that doesn’t pass judicial muster, doesn’t that essentially shut the NSA program down? If it’s shut down, how can this or any other President protect the U.S. from “all enemies, foreign and domestic”?

It makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

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