President Flip-Flops as Dissent Grows

by TChris

Another Republican senator has publicly disagreed with the president's insistence that he's entitled to unreviewable power to spy on Americans. Lindsey Graham:

"I am adamant that the courts have some role when it comes to warrants. If you're going to follow an American citizen around for an extended period of time believing they're collaborating with the enemy, at some point in time, you need to get some judicial review, because mistakes can be made."

While the president maintains he has the authority to bypass courts when he orders the government to engage in domestic surveillance, he's no longer so adamant that the law doesn't need to be changed. His new, improved, flip-flopped position: Congress should retroactively approve everything he's done. Gosh, Mr. President, if you already had the legal authority to engage in domestic surveillance, why do you need retroactive congressional approval?

At least the president is consistent about one thing: he doesn't want Congress to investigate his abusive circumvention of FISA.

The White House is hoping that talks will lead to legislation to approve the program, much as Congress eventually approved Abraham Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War.

Bush, you're no Lincoln.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has given the administration two weeks to negotiate. If the White House does not demonstrate a good-faith effort, members say, the Democratic proposal for a full-scale inquiry will be back on the table at the panel's next meeting on March 7.

Democrats are taking the sensible position that they shouldn't retroactively approve the executive branch's conduct without knowing what the administration has done.

Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, Democrat of West Virginia and his party's senior member on the intelligence panel, said, "No member of the Senate can cast an informed vote on legislation authorizing, or, conversely, restricting, the N.S.A.'s warrantless surveillance program when they fundamentally do not know what they are authorizing or restricting."

We need an investigation, not a cover-up.

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    Re: President Flip-Flops as Dissent Grows (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Feb 20, 2006 at 07:54:51 AM EST
    I'm glad to see that Sen. Graham is opposing Bush on this, but notice that he still doesn't seem to understand the problem. He says judicial review is necessary because "mistakes can be made". I defy you to read the Federalist Papers and find any reference to governmental "mistakes". And, the Declaration of Independence doesn't refer to King George's "mistakes". What we're talking about is ABUSE OF POWER. By talking about this issue in terms of "mistakes", the President and his posse can still say, "You just need to trust us. Sure, mistakes might be made from time to time, but we're human, and we're fighting terror, and, oh yeah, did we mention 9/11?" We need to pound the word "abuse" into the collective discussion. Abuses are intentional, abuses are dangerous, abuses are illegal and repugnant to our rights and our structure of government. Abuses are inexcusable, no matter the historical context. Abuses are what true patriots cannot and will not abide.

    Re: President Flip-Flops as Dissent Grows (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Mon Feb 20, 2006 at 08:06:20 AM EST
    It should be entertaining, and somewhat enlightening as to the true mindset, to hear the trolls today twist and spin and lie as they tie themselves inextricably into knots trying to excuse bush and justify this.
    Gosh, Mr. President, if you already had the legal authority to engage in domestic surveillance, why do you need retroactive congressional approval?

    Re: President Flip-Flops as Dissent Grows (none / 0) (#3)
    by jondee on Mon Feb 20, 2006 at 03:11:36 PM EST
    "Trusting to escape scrutiny by fixing the public gaze upon the exceeding brightness of military glory, that attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood - that serpents eye, that charms to dystroy, he plunged into war." Abraham Lincoln on Polk and the Mexican War