February 16, 2006


I wonder if they are going to make this retro-active to absolve Bush of all the times he broke the law? Looks like the Republicans don't give a damn that Bush ignored the FISA law to conduct warrantless wiretaps on Americans. Senator Roberts appears to have cut a deal to "fix" the FISA law to accomodate the NSA wiretaps in order to avoid an election year investigation of the program.

Senate Intelligence Chairman Pat Roberts said he has worked out an agreement with the White House to change U.S. law regarding the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program and provide more information about it to Congress.

"We are trying to get some movement, and we have a clear indication of that movement," Roberts, R-Kan., said.

Without offering specifics, Roberts said the agreement with the White House provides "a fix" to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and offers more briefings to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Oh my god, the clue phone is ringing, Republicans. Don't you get it? Bush doesn't feel the need for you. Don't you realize that all the requests for "briefings" will go nowhere? After five years of a Congress absolutely toothless when it comes to holding the Bush administration accountable for anything they do, do you actually think this will be any different? I cannot believe how willing you are to roll over for this law breaker. You might as well just shut off the lights and go home. Bush is running the country. Save us taxpayers some money and call it a day.
The deal comes as the committee was set to have a meeting Thursday about whether to open an investigation into the hotly disputed program. Roberts indicated the deal may eliminate the need for such an inquiry. Democrats have been demanding an investigation but some Republicans don't want to tangle the panel in a testy election-year probe.

"Whether or not an investigation is the right thing to do at this particular time, I am not sure," Roberts told reporters while heading into the meeting.

The White House was not immediately available for comment on Roberts' statement.

Earlier in the day, White House spokesman Scott McClellan hinted at a "good discussion going on" with lawmakers and praised in particular "some good ideas" presented by Sen. Mike DeWine (news, bio, voting record). The Ohio Republican has suggested the FISA law be changed to accommodate the NSA program.

However, McClellan left the impression that any deal would not allow for significant changes. He said the White House continued to maintain that Bush does not need Congress' approval to authorize the warrantless eavesdropping and that the president would resist any legislation that might compromise the program.
See? It doesn't matter what you do. Bush and Company are going to do whatever they damn well please. In the meantime, the Justice Department, who is supposed to be looking out for the American people, is really looking out for its number one client, George W. Bush.
Separately, the Justice Department has strongly discouraged the Senate Judiciary Committee from calling former Attorney General John Ashcroft and his deputy to testify about the surveillance program, saying they won't have new information for Congress about it.
Nothing to see here folks. Move along.

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