Okay, I lied. A little. Maybe second thoughts. Maybe a bout of insanity... No promises.
I hate to be someone who just reposts links and quotes, but I saw this on wiretapping contradictions from the Bush administration and it was too good to pass up. (But I really do need to do more on my research project instead of blogging.)
So, building on my previous post, here are the basics as I know them:
- The Administration started these wiretaps before 9/11. In 2002, Senator DeWine (R-Ohio) introduced an amendment for the PATRIOT act.
- That amendment would have significantly downgraded the amount of proof necessary for wiretapping non-US-Citizens under the FISA act, which established the FISA court.
- In the process, the Department of Justice was asked to give an opinion. They said: "Nah, we're fine. The laws we've got are fine. We don't need to do this, and besides, it might not be constitutional."
- In the end, the amendment was rejected by Congress.
Why is this important, you ask?
- Congress rejected a much weaker version (because it was for non-citizens) of what Bush now claims they implicitly said he could do by saying: "Go get the 9/11 guys". So that argument is even weaker than it was before.
- The Bush administration has recently been claiming that they had to do these wiretaps because the existing legal alternatives weren't good enough. But that contradicts what they said back in 2002.
One possible conclusion: Their spy program was discovered, so they're either lying to cover their asses, or they were lying back when it was secret. And it's not the kind of lying that can possibly be covered by the need for secrecy or anything like that. It's plain old contradictions about public policy.
The American Prospect has a neat summary showing that claims that Abramoff "directed his clients to donate Democrats" are on very shaky ground indeed.