Monday, January 8, 2007

Feingold challenges Bush on Mail Opening

Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold sent a letter today to President Bush asking him to explain his December "signing statement" in which the President asserted the government's right to open Americans' mail without a warrant.

As we noted here last week, the signing statement was issued December 20 when the President signed routine postal legislation. The New York Daily News broke the signing statement story several days later, quoting legal authorities who challenged the President's right to read citizens' mail.

In his letter, Feingold cites chapter and verse of U.S. postal regulations. He closes by asking the President to answer the following question:

Has your administration authorized any government agency to read Americans’ first-class mail without obtaining a search warrant, complying with the applicable court order requirements of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or satisfying Postal Service regulations?

It's a good question, though we suspect we won't get much of an answer. Nevertheless, we want to thank Sen. Feingold for speaking out—loud and clear—about something that should be important to all Americans.

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