Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Spy "Game"

Between traveling home for Christmas and, well, trying to finish shopping and all that jazz, I have been delinquent in discussing the revelations that the Administration has been utilizing the NSA's capabilities to intercept communications of a domestic (or partially domestic) nature. It is certainly of great interest to me, and I applaud the bipartisan call in the Senate for an investigation into the use of this technique. If the Administration felt that the FISA was not effective enough, they should have asked Congress to amend the law, not circumvented it.

This Administration has been working diligently to accumulate more and more power at the expense of both the legislative and judicial branches. I don't want this to sound like one of those shrill "we're becoming a fascist state" posts that I seem to see everywhere these days, but it is rather worrisome to see the executive branch working around both Congress and the courts at every opportunity and then simply claiming the authority to do so exists as part of the president's power to prosecute the war on terror.

Executive power is not, and has never been, absolute, even in time of war. It is well past time for Congress to reassert its oversight authority - their acquiescence in the heady moments after 9/11 is at least partially to blame for the increased power of the president in recent years, and I hope members of Congress will continue to step up (as they have with torture and in other areas recently).

TMV has, as usual, an excellent post on this subject, which I highly recommend. It includes a good rundown of the whole business, as well as quotes from other bloggers.

This morning in the Senate Dick Cheney cast the tie vote in approving the budget conference report; the ANWR-stuffed DoD bill comes up for a cloture vote at some point today. Unfortunately things don't look good, but cross your fingers and call your senators.

1 Comments:

At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Paul Wartenberg said...

Words I complete agree with:

...This Administration has been working diligently to accumulate more and more power at the expense of both the legislative and judicial branches. I don't want this to sound like one of those shrill "we're becoming a fascist state" posts that I seem to see everywhere these days, but it is rather worrisome to see the executive branch working around both Congress and the courts at every opportunity and then simply claiming the authority to do so exists as part of the president's power to prosecute the war on terror.

Executive power is not, and has never been, absolute, even in time of war. It is well past time for Congress to reassert its oversight authority - their acquiescence in the heady moments after 9/11 is at least partially to blame for the increased power of the president in recent years, and I hope members of Congress will continue to step up (as they have with torture and in other areas recently)...


I am a firm supporter of the system of checks and balances. Bush's bad habits of ignoring law is a serious threat to that system. It's about time the Republicans in Congress realize they have a duty to say "NO" to their own boy, if not to protect American citizenry then at least their own place within the federal government...

 

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