CAP en Español
Small CAP Banner

Morton Halperin’s Testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee

    PRINT:
  • print icon
  • SHARE:
  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • Share on Google+
  • Email icon

 

 

 

Read the full testimony (PDF)

If al Qaeda is calling someone in the United States, the government should be listening. I would have thought that FISA provided all the authority needed to listen to such calls. If the administration believed that the FISA rules were not sufficient it should have come to Congress and asked for an amendment to FISA. Now, if the administration makes the case in public that, following 9/11, greater flexibility is needed to listen in a timely way to such calls, Congress should be prepared to amend FISA as necessary and consistent with the Fourth Amendment-after it is fully briefed on any such need. I will describe below the possible elements of such legislation based on ideas that I understand have been discussed in various congressional offices.

I want to emphasize what I believe to be a fundamental point: Congress cannot legislate in the dark. Before Congress considers further legislation, it must conduct a full and complete investigation of the full range of current activities being carried on outside of the procedures prescribed by FISA. It should also insist that the administration provide a public explanation of what additional authority it believes it needs, with additional detail provided in closed hearings. And Congress should require that, as a condition for granting the additional authority, all surveillance be conducted pursuant to the standards of FISA.

Read the full testimony (PDF)

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or lbartolomeo@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or apreiss@americanprogress.org

Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, TalkPoverty.org, faith)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Print: Elise Shulman (oceans)
202.796.9705 or eshulman@americanprogress.org

Print: Benton Strong (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.481.8142 or bstrong@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Jennifer Molina
202.796.9706 or jmolina@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org