Thursday, January 18, 2007

Yippee, FISA Win, Or Not ?

Alberto Gonzales stated that the Administration was putting NSA's wiretap program back under FISA in an "innovative" arrangement. The Justice Dept strongly suggested that the warrants it received last week were individual in nature but refused to disclose much of anything. He continued to argue that the Admin's warrantless eavesdropping was legal.

It should be noted that there are hearing scheduled and a court case still pending regarding the NSA spying. A Justice Official said that they would file with the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati to have the case mooted. The current hearings in the Senate, Thur & Fri (possibly) are getting pretty much the same treatment previously offered, no specificity, Republican crappola propaganda, and Democrats getting exactly nowhere in determining what is actually going on. Corrente Wire is attempting to Blog live from the Senate, this means no transcripts but essentially commentary or analysis.

No Democrats seem to be happy that this state of affairs has existed for 5 years and has included 13 months of debate since NYT disclosed the existence of the program. What seemed to tick off Grassley (R) and Hatch (R) is that the Times disclosed and the existence of whoever the leaker is. No no one seems to be able to get Gonzales to cough up with a reason that the Admin didn't consult with Congress and he's continued to hold the line that FISA was not fast enough or nimble enough. Fast enough may be a debatable point considering the 3 day window allowed, but nimble is the worrying aspect. What nimbleness is required for judges of that caliber to understand an Act and the 4th Amendment to the Constitution? Let's remember that these people are supposedly suited to sit on a Federal Secret Court.

The NTY closes its piece A Spy Program In From The Cold with the line, " This administration long ago forfeited the public trust on these issues." Since this paper published the original story they have some ownership of it and they seem to be dissatisfied with the result the Admin has come up with. They'd still like to know what's going on, actually, and how things got to this pass. Because the NYT is putatively a reputable paper they won't just state what is obvious to many, this happened because the GWB Admin gives a rat's patoot about the Constitution and did what it could do given the craven Republican Congress and scared spitless public.

These mewling excuses for citizenry do not actually care about the rule of law, not any farther than it affects their current hobbyhorses. If the NSA dust up had included something positive for gays or separation of church and state somebody would've gotten lynched. I am not satisfied that this is anything more than a political ploy, that nothing has changed, this is the same bunch doing the same thing the same way. I'd keep an eye on this.

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