Thursday, February 09, 2006

It Doesn't Pass the Shoe-on-the-Other-Foot Test
Every single reason Bush has suggested as an excuse for bypassing FISA didn't wash. FISA provides for situations when the president doesn't have time with the possibility for post-hoc filing and even extensions. Bush said the war resolution includes authorization to thwart FISA, but the wording says nothing of the kind. Indeed, had Bush really thought the authorization included the ability to end-run FISA, why did the Bush administration try to get the language changed in the law so domenstic spying was included. I have heard/read no one argue that suspected terrorists shouldn't be investigated. But the FISA bypass has used a much wider net. Surely congregations of Quakers, pacifists and hence those essentially the opposite of terrorists, should never have been spied upon. Nor should law-abiding citizens for political reasons. The Congress never intended to make Alberto Gonzalez the administration thought police. Several Republican senators (including Senators Sepctor, Graham, and Hagel and have led the defense of the Constitution from such attempts.

Law abiding citizens deserve better than to have their goverment used against them. Aside from all the other reasons why GOP leaders should oppose Bush's thwarting of FISA, legislators should consider this:

Any legislator thinking he or she wants unrestrained power on the part of the chief executive, should consider whether he or she would feel the same way if the opposite party were in charge.

As for the media drum beat for FISA bypass, this so-called MSM isn't even trying to cover this story accurately. Media Matters for America notes at least 75 instances of distortions or downright misleading statments concerning the illegal spying on innocent Americans. Read about them here.