Response from Senator Boxer on illegal wiretapping.

Below is the email I received from Senator Boxer’s office in response to my email encouraging the continued investigation of the illegal wiretapping programs authorized by Mr. Bush.

Thank you for contacting me regarding recent reports of domestic spying. I appreciate the opportunity to review your comments on this important issue.

On December 16, 2005, the New York Times reported that President Bush had repeatedly authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to eavesdrop on American citizens and others without the necessary approvals from Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts. Until this program, which began in 2002, no widespread wiretapping had been conducted within U.S. borders without a court warrant.

I have worked very hard to help provide our law enforcement and intelligence communities with the tools they need to effectively combat terrorism; at the same time, I have fought to protect the civil liberties and privacy protections that define our nation. It is unacceptable that the Bush Administration has sanctioned programs that so blatantly violate this balance.

Many of my colleagues – both Republicans and Democrats – share my shock and disappointment that President Bush went outside the law and subverted the system of checks and balances that is so vital to our democracy. The Senate Judiciary and Intelligence Committees are currently holding hearings on this matter.

Rest assured, I will do all I can to make sure that this matter is fully explored and resolved. The American people should not have to choose to between their security and their liberty.

Again, thank you for writing to me. Please do not hesitate to contact me about this or any other issue of concern to you.

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator