Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Get Serious

The Moose suggests that the anti-surveillance folks show that they're not all hat and no cattle.

The Moose has made his views clear on the NSA surveillance program - he's fine with it. However, are the opponents of the program really serious, or are they posturing for political effect? It is not a question of the opponents motives, it's an issue that they want their cake and eat it too.

We know that a handful of Democrats were briefed on the existence of the program. Two who were informed evidently "had concerns". And what did they do? They wrote a letter. That is not serious. If they really thought that the law was being broken and the constitution was being violated, they should have set their hair on fire.

Yes, it was a secret program. But that shouldn't have stopped the outraged ones from pressing the issue in the Intelligence Committee and in discussions with the leadership. They could have offered legislation to alter the FISA law. The Moose has worked for a Senator, and he has seen how a single Member of that institution can move heaven and earth if an issue matters.
Their is no evidence that these Members who had "concerns" took the commensurate action.

Now, the program is out in the open. Congress is not without its Constitutional weapons to control the Executive. It has the power of the purse. When will the first Senator who opposes this program offer legislation or amendment to cut off funding for the program until it complies with FISA? Of course, at the outer reaches of the party, some are talking impeachment, but terminating the money will do it for now if the Republic is really in danger.

Again, there is legitimate space for a serious discussion of modifying the FISA law. However, this is a new type of war with terrorist operatives operating in the homeland with the possible support of sleepers or sympathizers. And the Commander in Chief should have maximum flexibility in fighting this new foe.

However, the Moose is unmoved by most of the opposition. Many of the opponents are merely posturing. This is not a Nixonian operation against the Administration's opponents. It as not as if President Nixon took Senator Mansfield and Speaker Albert aside and briefed them on the existence of the Plummers.

Contrary to John Dean's rehabilitation as the born again paragon of civil liberties, W. is no Nixon, notwithstanding the fevered imaginations of graying baby boomers and twenty-something bloggers. The only '70s analogy that is apt is that the Democratic Party is increasingly under the influence of modern day McGovernites. The truth is that no one has been harmed by the program except perhaps Al Qaeda operatives who have had someone intrude into their communications. Surely, Karl Rove has more deviously productive things to do with his time other than monitor phone calls between Democrats Abroad in Karachi and Chairman Dean in D.C.

Let's get serious.
-- Posted at 8:14 AM | Link to this post | Email this post