Sunday, June 25, 2006

Specter caves

Specter: Agreement on eavesdropping near

The White House is nearing an agreement with Congress on legislation that would write President Bush's warrantless surveillance program into law, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman said Sunday.

Bush and senior officials in his administration have said they did not think changes were needed to empower the National Security Agency to eavesdrop - without court approval - on communications between people in the U.S. and overseas when terrorism is suspected.

But Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and other critics contend the program skirted a 1978 law that required the government to get approval from a secretive federal court before Americans could be monitored.

"We're getting close with the discussions with the White House, I think, to having the wiretapping issue submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court," Specter told "Fox New Sunday."

...

Specter has said that the president "does not have a blank check" and he has sought to have administration ask the special court to review the program.

Predictably enough, Specter's solution to the problem was to hurry up and write the administration a blank check, preferably backdated. I used to think that Abu Gonzales must have been taking Arlen into the men's room in the Rayburn building and using the Louima approach to persuasion on him, but at this point it's difficult not to assume that Arlen simply lacks the courage and integrity to do the right thing. His political biography is really shaping up to be a pathetic read.

1 Comments:

Blogger bluememe said...

Glenn Greenwald has been sticking up for Specter, saying that his pre-fold protestations, pathetic though they are, are better than nothing.

I disagree. I think his fight-then-flight schtick is little more than a fig leaf -- it creates the veneer of process without its substance. So I'm with you on this one.

8:05 PM  

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