Tuesday, June 13, 2006

It's Good to Be a Dick!

We are gathered here today in memory of a great country. A country founded on the principals of freedom, universal human rights and the rule of law. We are here to pay our respects to a fallen country, the land of the free and the home of the brave, because it ultimately succumbed to the ravages of a long and drawn out illness. We saw it coming yet we were in denial. Perhaps had we intervened sooner, the patient could have been saved. Hindsight is a wonderful yet maddening tool. The choices are so clear when they are viewed through the prism of history. You see the price of freedom is eternal vigilance and it was a price that ultimately proved to large to pay. Had we remained eternally vigilant, we would have recognized sooner the abuses of our government and acted accordingly. If we only knew sooner, we could have stopped our elected leaders from trampling upon the very bedrock of our freedoms and draining the lifeblood from our country. Yes, these are very troubling times indeed. Consider the impact of the expanding powers of the President and the executive branch of government. Consider if you will the impact of the actions of this President and the inaction of this Congress. Ponder the reality that we live in a country where we are no longer truly free and that our rights are no longer guaranteed. No, we live in a country where the government can seize evidence without warrant, spy without authority, imprison without charge and kill without cause.

Once again the Administrations disregard for the Constitution and the rule of law is on full display in the developing confrontation over the illegal NSA wiretapping program. As you may know, Senator Arlen Specter, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Intelligence Committee, has been waffling on the subject of issuing subpoenas for telecommunications executives and members of the administration who are involved in the wiretapping scandal. There has been an escalating, public debate between Senator Specter and Vice President Dick Cheney over Congressional oversight of the NSA eavesdropping program and other related domestic spying issues. Last week, Senator Specter in his best attempt at saber rattling, sent the Vice President a strongly worded letter threatening the administration with a “constitutional confrontation” over the issue. Of course Vice Chancellor Cheney responded erroneously by stating that the NSA did not need Congressional approval to run the program, adding though the administration is willing to work with Congress in “good faith”, he didn’t feel there was a need for legislation authorizing the NSA to monitor calls between people in the US and terrorist suspects overseas without court order. Cheney cited that the resolution passed by Congress in the aftermath of 9/11 and the Presidents authority as Commander and Chief give him the power to authorize the NSA program. Wrong again Dick.

The program is clearly in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, governing wiretaps and counterintelligence probes. Senator Specter has suggested additional legislation requiring the administration to submit the program to a constitutionality review by a secret federal court set up to approve such warrants. Apparently Senator Specter finally developed the resolve to confront the Vice Chancellor only after learning that Dick had been secretly been lobbing fellow Republicans on his committee without his knowledge. According to published reports, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch told Specter that the Vice Chancellor had gone around him in an effort to influence members of the committee to block subpoenas for administration officials and telecommunication executives. Even though the legality of the NSA program and the administrations approval of NSA actions are currently under review, it is clear that the NSA program is in direct conflict with the law as outlined in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. However, the lack of support Senator Specter is receiving from fellow Republican committee members on the issue of subpoenas is appalling and caused Specter to tone down his rhetoric. Obviously the Democrats are crying fowl because they are seeking to politicize the issue rather than confront the legality of it. Regardless, the Senator is waffling on his pledge to fully investigate the NSA program and hold accountable those who have violated the law. What else do you expect from the man who developed the “magic bullet theory” as a plausible explanation establishing Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone gunman responsible for the JFK assignation. Don’t get me started on that. Anyway, it appears that round 1 goes to the Vice Chancellor.

Of course Cheney defended his Senatorial “end around” as completely ethical, stating that it was just government at work…business as usual. That’s funny. When has the word “ethical” and the phrase “government at work” ever been used in the same sentence…that is with a straight face? Cheney stated that by forcing representatives of the telecommunications companies to testify, Congress could inadvertently disclose “extremely sensitive and classified information.” Really? Could it be the extremely classified and sensitive information that the VP is referring to are the names and identities of those ultimately responsible for breaking the law and violating our rights? I can understand can understand your desire to keep that a secret Dick.
Think about it.

1 comment:

Cyberotter said...

I got this reply on one of my Torture articles.

"If you are not with us, you are AGAINST us!"

Typical Babble