Monday, January 23, 2006

On Defending the Wiretaps

Joe Gandelman at TMV has an important post on the president's new defenses of his extra-legal NSA wiretapping efforts - make sure to stop by and read it if you have a chance. I continue to be more than a little concerned about this entire program, and am impatiently awaiting the hearings to be held on the issue by the Senate Judiciary Committee next month.

I wholeheartedly agree with Senator McCain's question on "Fox News Sunday" yesterday: "Why not come to Congress? I know of no member of Congress, frankly, who has said that if the administration came and said here is why we need this capability, that they wouldn't get it."

Further, I agree with McCain's rebuttal of Karl Rove's assertion last week that "Republicans have a post-9/11 world view and many Democrats have a pre-9/11 world view." McCain responded "There's too many good Democrats over there who are as concerned about national security and work just as hard as I do. ... There's nothing wrong with disagreeing, with questioning, with debate and discussion."

McCain is right. There's nothing wrong with asking questions and demanding answers of this administration or any other. In fact, to do otherwise would be to abdicate our responsibilities as citizens. We all must continue to ask just why it was that Bush concluded it necessary to work outside the law's parameters - his defenses so far have completely avoided answering this key question - and we should not accept "to protect the American people" as the only necessary response.

[Update: The Bull Moose strongly disagrees, and urges those of us with concerns about the wiretapping to "get serious." I agree with him that those who knew of the program before it was made public by the Times should have come forward if they had the concerns they now claim to have had, but I reiterate my original question: why couldn't the president have worked within the parameters of FISA or asked Congress to change the law?]


Post a Comment

<< Home