Saying older surveillance laws were “dangerously out of date,” President Bush pressed anew Wednesday for Congress to pass permanent legislation that allows intelligence agencies to carry out warrantless surveillance on all communications of a foreign terror suspect.
USA Today report that legislation passed by Congress last month “has helped close a critical intelligence gap, allowing us to collect important foreign intelligence and information about terrorist plots,” Bush said after he was briefed at the National Security Agency.
“The problem is the law expires on February 1 — that’s 135 days from today. The threat from al-Qaeda is not going to expire in 135 days,” Bush said.
Bush’s comments come one day after the nation’s intelligence chief told Congress that fewer than 100 Americans have become surveillance targets because they were initially overheard communicating with foreign terror suspects.
“How many Americans’ phones have been tapped without a court order? The answer is none,” Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell told the House Judiciary Committee.