Is anyone surprised by this?
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The news: The U.S. Justice Department released a pair of decade-old memos Friday night that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) says suggest that the “president’s power to monitor the communications of Americans is virtually unlimited” when trying to gain foreign intelligence.
The memos provide legal justification for the warrantless wiretapping started by the Bush administration in the wake of 9/11. Written by Jack Goldsmith, who was the head of Bush’s Office of Legal Counsel, they detail a program called “Stellar Wind” that allowed the NSA to monitor communications in the U.S. as long as one end of the communication was overseas and at least one person taking part was thought to be related to al-Qaida, according to the Washington Post.
The program was put under court control in 2007 after the New York Times exposed it two years earlier. But these memos provide the most thorough view we’ve ever had of the Bush administration’s surveillance efforts.