The SYFP Brigade Out Early
Q: Assess the debate in Congress and with the administration over reforming the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. [Democratic lawmakers allowed the temporary extension of that law, the Protect America Act, to expire, over the vehement objections of the White House.] Why has it come to this point where politics has arguably pulled things off the rails?
Brennan: There is this great debate over whether or not the telecom companies should in fact be given immunity for their agreement to provide support and cooperate with the government after 9/11. I do believe strongly that they should be granted that immunity, because they were told to do so by the appropriate authorities that were operating in a legal context, and so I think that's important. . . . [Director of National Intelligence] Mike McConnell, I think, did a very good job trying to articulate the distinctions between the old FISA law, the FISA understanding under the Protect America Act, and then the House and Senate.
John Brennan is heading the Obama transition on intelligence issues. In the Wall Street Journal article cited today (and the WSJ news pages are not the WSJ opinion page, Obama Bots), the following is written:
President-elect Barack Obama is unlikely to radically overhaul controversial Bush administration intelligence policies, advisers say, an approach that is almost certain to create tension within the Democratic Party. . . . Mr. Obama is being advised largely by a group of intelligence professionals, including some who have supported Republicans, and centrist former officials in the Clinton administration. They say he is likely to fill key intelligence posts with pragmatists. . . . The intelligence-transition team is led by former National Counterterrorism Center chief John Brennan and former CIA intelligence-analysis director Jami Miscik, say officials close to the matter. . . Mr. Brennan is a leading contender for one of the two [top intelligence] jobs, say some advisers. He declined to comment on personnel matters.
Some of you may be pleased as punch that John Brennan is leading the transition on intelligence matters and is a leading candidate for Director of Intelligence in an Obama Administration. I am not pleased. I think the reasons should be clear to anyone who actually cares about civil liberties.
Other people are concerned about the possibility that Larry Summers might be the Treasury Secretary. I do not share their concerns but I respect their willingness to speak out on their views on the matter.
Other are adamant that Joe Lieberman be stripped of the committee chairmanship. I would make him promise to never join a Republican filibuster in exchange for keeping his chairmanship. Others are upset that Obama has stated he wants Lieberman to stay in the Dem Caucus. I do not share that upset. But I respect and admire those who are not afraid to speak their mind on the issue.
What I can not understand is the ridiculous Cult of Obama who believes that not a negative or questioning word should be said about Obama ever. Oh sure, they'll say "wait till he is President." But then they'll say "wait till he finishes his first year." And after that, "wait for the mid terms." And then "wait until after reelection." In short, members of a cult can never have the leader of the cult criticized. That is how the Republicans have done it, and no one is as zealous as a convert.
Not to worry, they'll be singing the "SYFP" song for the next 8 years and we'll keep ignoring them. For some of us, it is the issues, not the pol.
By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only
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