Monday, March 13, 2006

To My Republican Friends:

If you believed that lying under oath about an extramarital affair was sufficient to warrant impeachment, you're probably FURIOUS that the most serious action on the table to punish President Bush for his open, repeated violations of FISA and the 4th Amendment is Senator Feingold's Censure Resolution.

I know, I know--you're crying out for justice, and the best the Senate Democrats can come up with is censure. It's a ridiculous state of affairs, I grant you, but politics is the art of compromise, after all.

I therefore ask you to set aside your righteous indignation, call Senators Durbin and Obama, and ask them to support this admittedly lenient remedy.

It may not feel like it now, but someday your rage at this betrayal of the public trust--this attack on a strict constructionist interpretation of the Constitution--will subside, and on that day you will feel better knowing that you contributed to a resolution (however imperfect) of this serious problem; that you joined your fellow Law And Order Republicans in sending a shot across the bow of any would-be future Executive Branch tyrant who might attempt to usurp the power granted to the other branches by the Founding Fathers.

Durbin, Richard- (D - IL)
332 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-2152
Web Form: durbin.senate.gov/contact.cfm

Obama, Barack- (D - IL)
Class III
713 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-2854

Amen.

7 Comments:

Blogger hurtleg said...

This is ridiculous. Bush aurthorized and intelligence operation done with congressional oversight. It is not as cut and dried as you would like to believe that FISA is the controlling law. Plus Bush had plenty of precedent from previous administrations for the powers he used.

This is the difference in perspectives. Republicans believe we are at war, and democrats want to pretend it is still Sept. 10, 2001.

2:46 PM  
Blogger George W. Bush said...

We've always been @ War HL so what's your point?

3:01 PM  
Blogger Germanicu$ said...

The constitution reads the same today as it did on 9/10/01. It establishes a nation of laws, and a President fighting a "war on terror" is not excepted from abiding by those laws.

Once again, we come to the deafening silence of hurtleg and others on the question of why warrants were not obtained under FISA. This is the law which the President skirts, by exercising this extra-constitutional authority he invokes, but doesn't have.

I think it's plausible that the program was executed with respect to citizens' civil liberties, and that we are safer for it. But anyone who tries to argue that this clandestine program was instituted with respect for the law is totally deluded.

Frankly, I am surprised hurtleg isn't supportive of censure, which is essentially a meaningless and symbolic scolding. Would he prefer the alternative for these clearly impeachable offenses?

3:06 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

"Bush aurthorized and intelligence operation done with congressional oversight."

It's interesting that you and other Republicans think this refutes any of the criticisms of this program. Simply informing a few congressmen of your violation of FISA *and* the 4th Amendment doesn't affect the illegality one way or the other.

"It is not as cut and dried as you would like to believe that FISA is the controlling law."

FISA “shall be the exclusive means by which electronic surveillance . . . and the interception of domestic wire, oral, and electronic communications may be conducted.”

Hurtleg, I guess we must have different definitions of the phrase "cut and dried."

"This is the difference in perspectives. Republicans believe we are at war, and democrats want to pretend it is still Sept. 10, 2001."

Yawn. Given your justification of Bush's action (what are they exactly? The Military Force Authorization? The executive powers clause?), what would stop him from having US citizens assassinated? The ever-changing excuses Bush apologists proffer don't seem to recognize any limits to presidential power wrt the rights of US citizens. I think that's the real difference in perspective.

3:58 PM  
Blogger sexyretard said...

I have misgivings about Bush's spying program, and I agree that just telling people that you are skipping FISA courts does not make it right (although it could be right--I'd like to hear a bit more about the pertinent law and I'd like to see real limitations put on the use of any obtained information). Sure big brother says they'll only use the information to confront terrorists, but I frankly don't believe them.

At the same time, I think the leap between domestic surveillance and the President ordering an assassination is a bit too much at the moment. If we are going to have such a tyrant, the process is going to start somewhere other than a domestic surveillance program that everyone knows about.

6:35 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

"At the same time, I think the leap between domestic surveillance and the President ordering an assassination is a bit too much at the moment. If we are going to have such a tyrant, the process is going to start somewhere other than a domestic surveillance program that everyone knows about."

Why? Nobody was supposed to know about the NSA wiretaps. In any case, it's the slippery slope that should concern us. If nothing is done about this, the next time a (Republican) president brazenly violents some other part of the Constitution and uses some imagined state of war to justify it, Hurtleg will proudly proclaim that there is precedent for this breach of civil liberties, and don't you understand that we're at war, you filthy hippy? (Try to imagine what a disingenuous defense of an unjustifiable act of executive overreach and lawbreaking would be, and I'll bet it looks exactly the same as the one the Right is undertaking now. That's a good prima facie clue as to what's going on here.)

I'm even willing to grudgingly acknowledge that there might be cases when constitutional liberties might be justifiably suspended in the interests of security (I can only think of highly unlikely "24"-type situations right now, but I don't foreclose the logical possibility of others). What's so pathetic about the Bush-defenders in this situation is that NONE of them has offered a single realistic reason why any of the wiretaps in question couldn't have been procured with a retroactive FISA warrant, and that's pretty much the ball game. Have you seen any? Instead they offer the bogus Nixonian assertion that Article II empowers the executive to play god, or that authorization for "use of force" against al-qaeda meant the same. The latter justification is just laughable, and if they really believed the former, why even reference the AUMF?

7:57 AM  
Blogger sexyretard said...

"Patriotism is a religion, the egg from which wars are hatched."- Guy de Maupassant

I don't agree, but thought you all would like the quote.

1:08 PM  

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