Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

NSA again

These articles suggest that Democrats will not get their way--splashy hearings to expose the alleged misdeeds of the Bush Administration. On the other hand, it looks like the Administration will be a little more forthcoming in its briefings and like there may be some legislative action, perhaps on Senator DeWine’s proposal to authorize the warrantless wiretapping, subject to formal Congressional oversight.

Discussions - 3 Comments


(1) Remember that the administration’s position - and the position of the DOJ, Eastman, Alt, and the boys from Powerline whom you have linked here approvingly - is that oversight isn’t just unnecessary, but that it’s an unconstitutional restriction of presidential powers. I’m not sure you agree with that view, but I will be curious to see the extent to which it remains operative on the right.

(2) Oversight is the real question here and it always has been the real question. FISA is itself an attempt to engage in responsible congressional oversight. At a forum here at G-town last night I heard Sen. Specter say that it was necessary for Congress to "keep the heat on" in order to get more information about this program so that Congress can make the necessary judgments regarding its legality.

I don’t know about the legal issues. But politically, it is usually best to make a large allowance for cowardice and congressional narcissism among Republican members. Both factors work against national security and the president.

I agree with Brett, that the administration ought to stick to it’s "presidential powers" gun. I am sure they will, but even in the lengthening shadow of the downfall of the so-called "Imperial Presidency," the Democrats are going to demand some window dressing to cover their silly rear-ends on this NSA business.

Bush, and his "new tone," will certainly oblige.

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