Monday, July 2, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

It's good to be back. And it'll take us a while to get caught up.

But for starters, here's a piece from Wired News that caught our eye:

Much of this apparatus, including the recently revealed NSA eavesdropping and phone record-mining programs, has no oversight...

Senators have abdicated their Constitutional duty to provide checks and balances on the executive branch...

Today, Senator Susan Collins, a moderate [sic] Republican with a fairly strong privacy record, met with Gen. Michael Hayden, the former head of the NSA who has been nominated to lead the CIA.

The best Collins could muster after her meeting with the man who ran a program the Administration says Congress has no right to oversee was that she was "pleased he was nominated," but "the administration must be more forthright with Congress about these programs so we can exercise our oversight responsibilities. These surveillance programs should also be subject to the confines of law to ensure oversight and judicial review."
(Emphasis added.)

These programs "should" be subject to the law? Ya think?

I'm all for careful, measured discussion, but we're not talking about a scuffle over the highway bill here. We're talking about an out-of-control administration hellbent on breaking the law--and in a way that violates the fundamental rights of Americans.

And yet Senator Collins is basically asking the administration to stop acting like a dictatorship, pretty please.

Would it be so hard for the junior senator to muster up some stronger language? Would it be a such a stretch for her to convey the impression that she views executive branch lawbreaking as a deeply serious problem, and not a mere inconvenience?

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