Bush Presses for Warrantless Surveillance Legislation

President Bush is pressing Democratic leaders to have Congress legitimize his warrantless surveillance program. That and confirming John Bolton to the U.N. are high on his agenda for the remainder of the year.

Happily, Democrats don't seem likely to play along.

Senate Democrats, emboldened by Election Day wins that put them in control of Congress as of January, say they would rather wait until next year to look at the issue. "I can't say that we won't do it, but there's no guarantee that we're going spend a lot of time on controversial measures," Democratic Whip Richard Durbin of Illinois said Thursday.

In Senate parlance, that means no.

As to where things stand on the warrantless surveillance bills pending in Congress:

The House passed a bill in September to allow warrantless wiretaps under certain restrictions. House and Senate intelligence committees and congressional leaders would have to be notified, the president would have to believe that a terrorist attack is imminent, and certification would have to be renewed every 90 days.

A Republican measure in the Senate favored by the administration would require the Justice Department to report twice a year to the House and Senate intelligence committees the number and kind of any such operations. It would permit the surveillance to continue for up to one year without a warrant.

The House bill is H.R. 5825; the Senate bill is S. 3931.

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    Bolton may be a done deal (none / 0) (#1)
    by Edger on Sat Nov 11, 2006 at 11:30:49 AM EST
    From Steve Clemons at TWN, November 10, 2006
    White House Chuckles as It Stabs Dems in Back: More on the John Bolton Nomination Story
    John Bolton's nomination was formally sent to the U.S. Senate yesterday, Thursday, between 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. when the Senate was called to order for a pro forma session designed just to exhange letters and paperwork between the various branches of government.
    The President's office released word of the Bolton nomination at 1:22 p.m. to the public -- about 7 minutes after Nancy Pelosi actually left the Oval Office.

    Bush is pressing (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Sat Nov 11, 2006 at 12:50:24 PM EST
    From the article:
    The Bush administration has a backup plan. In speeches over the next few weeks, the Justice Department will launch a new campaign for the legislation by casting the choice as one between supporting the program or dropping it altogether _ and appearing soft on al-Qaida.

    They sure don't have much imagination do they? "Yer either with us or yer with the terrists".

    BTW, if it's not illegal, why would he need it legitimized?

    This is turning into another MCA.

    Well, Edger, if you had broken... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Bill Arnett on Sat Nov 11, 2006 at 01:08:32 PM EST
    ...as many laws as bush has wouldn't you try to get your butt covered before we Dems take over congress?

    There isn't a chance in hell of getting Bolton appointed and confirmed UN ambassador any more than there is any chance of passing the TSA program.

    Oh, he'll try and try and try again, but this time he has run out of luck and no longer has a rubberstamp congress after 1/3/07, and no chance of breaking filibusters during the lame duck session that remains. (Any chance the rethugs had of getting rid of the filibuster went right out the window the minute we won.)

    It's about time bush got his comeuppance and man! is it going to be sweet.


    Re: CYA (none / 0) (#4)
    by Edger on Sat Nov 11, 2006 at 01:15:04 PM EST
    Well, Bill, If I'd broken as many as Bush has I'd probably just leave town quietly in th middle of the night. I don't have poppy to come and save my ass. Again. ;-)

    I'm not so sure about the comeuppance though, you know.


    We can only hope! (none / 0) (#5)
    by Bill Arnett on Sat Nov 11, 2006 at 02:15:23 PM EST
    And you never know, when the public gets as upset with the rethugs as the election seems to indicate, just when the CONSERVATIVES are going to demand a human sacrifice to compensate for their losses.

    They will judge bush/cheney as the destructors of their forever monopoly in politics.

    We already know that the rethugs eat their young and cannabalize their old, so don't be surprised at the treatment meted out by those whom have seen their dreams of world domination go up in smoke!