Domestic Spying in the U.S.
There are two bills in Congress that would grant the Pentagon greater rights to spy on Americans in the U.S.:
The Pentagon would be granted new powers to conduct undercover intelligence gathering inside the United States -- and then withhold any information about it from the public -- under a series of little noticed provisions now winding their way through Congress.
Citing in part the need for "greater latitude" in the war on terror, the Senate Intelligence Committee recently approved broad-ranging legislation that gives the Defense Department a long sought and potentially crucial waiver: it would permit its intelligence agents, such as those working for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), to covertly approach and cultivate "U.S. persons" and even recruit them as informantsâwithout disclosing they are doing so on behalf of the U.S. government.
At the same time, the Senate intelligence panel also included in the bill two other potentially controversial amendmentsâone that would allow the Pentagon and other U.S. intelligence agencies greater access to federal government databases on U.S. citizens, and another granting the DIA new exemptions from disclosing any "operational files" under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Posted on October 13, 2005 at 11:47 AM • 17 Comments