Monday, February 06, 2006

Domestic Spying, Executive Privilege, and.... Surrealism

Honestly, this ought to be ridiculous -the stuff of conspiracy theorists with aluminum foil helmets. Except, it's not. Everyone knows by now that the President authorized NSA to spy on citizens without getting the required warrants from FISA. The Congressional inquiry started today, with the testimony of Alberto Gonzalez. We knew this, too, of course, but so far he's pretty much laid out the White House's case; this is all a matter of using executive privilege to protect us. Uh huh.

How did it happen that protecting ourselves against the President became how we spend our time? Ought we not be on the same side at least on something as basic as the importance of the rule of law? Surely the White House knows it's in trouble when icons of liberal politics like (sarcasm alert....) Arlen Specter, Chuck Hagel, and Lindsey Graham are questioning the president's authority in this case. Of course, the White House is going to try to spin it like this -and they may well succeed. But I can't see how this is an issue of liberals against conservatives, or even patriots against dangerous people. We are challenging the President because we are patriots, and encouraging him to relocate his patriotism by re-reading -and heeding- the Constitution.

MoveOn is sponsoring yet another petition drive on this issue. They want to deliver signatures calling for the naming of a Special Prosecutor and a thorough investigation into domestic spying this Wednesday. Click here if you're interested in signing on: Petition. It's the Senate's job to act as a check to presidential power. We need them to get to work.

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