July 10, 2009

Wyden Says Bush Policies Were "Harmful to U.S. National Security"

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) released the following statement today on the Offices of the Inspectors General "Unclassified Report on the President's Surveillance Program. The report is available at: http://www.fas.org/irp/eprint/psp.pdf

"I am glad the American people can finally see for themselves what happens when a handful of senior officials - who think they know better than the courts, the U.S. Justice Department and Congress - decide to rewrite the law in secret. When I voted against granting retroactive immunity to people who participated in the Bush Administration's warrantless wiretapping program I said that when the legal justifications for the program were finally declassified everyone would be able to see that they were shaky at best and in many cases, downright embarrassing. This report allows the American people to see how senior Bush Administration officials concocted the program first and came up with its creative legal justifications later. While former Bush Administration officials continue to argue that their policies made the country safer, I believe this report shows that their obsession with secrecy and their refusal to accept oversight was actually harmful to U.S. national security, not to mention the privacy rights of law-abiding Americans."