Senator Bill Nelson reacts to NY Times story on Bush Administration tapping into financial records of Americans by Mitch E. Perry

06/23/06

Florida U.S. Senator Bill Nelson reacted today to the reports in several major newspapers today about the Bush administration, which, relying on a presidential declaration of emergency, has secretly been tapping into a vast global database of confidential financial transactions for nearly five years.

Initiated shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, the surveillance program has used a broad new interpretation of the Treasury Department's administrative powers to bypass traditional banking privacy protections. It has swept in large volumes of international money transfers, including many made by U.S. citizens and residents, in an effort to track the locations, identities and activities of suspected terrorists.

Senator Nelson (roll tape#1 o.q.�civil liberties�)

While the banking program was a closely held secret, the NY Times reported that administration officials HAVE held classified briefings for some members of Congress and the 9-11 Commission. The Times also reports that more lawmakers were briefed in recent weeks, as they realized the Times was about to go public with the story.

But as WMNF learned, Senator Nelson was NOT one of those in the loop (roll tape#2 o.q.invasion of privacy�)

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