Friday, July 14, 2006

Master of meaningless indignation

Your blogstress wonders if any of her devotees are as tired as she of the Arlen Specter act, which features the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee pretending to take on the Bush administration over its routine desecration of Constitution, only to kick up some dust and pretend to do something about it.

The latest from Chairman Specter is a hard-won agreement for a one-time review of the administration's illegal domestic spying program. Herewith from Charles Babington and Peter Baker of the Washington Post:

Bush agreed voluntarily to submit his program to the court named for the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, contingent on Congress passing legislation drafted by Specter and administration lawyers.

The legislation would allow the Justice Department unlimited attempts to revise the program to meet the court's approval and would allow it to appeal adverse court rulings. It would also give the NSA in emergency situations a week rather than the current 72 hours to eavesdrop on a domestic target without requesting a warrant, and it would allow the government to send to the FISA court all lawsuits challenging the program's legality. Some suits, filed by groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, are already pending in various federal courts.
This, thinks your Webwench, is worse than if no action were taken at all. The legislation on which the administration insists would take any challenges to its illegal spying program out of the transparent federal court system and into the secret world of the special court set up by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA), which usually acts as a rubber-stamping body for the administration, and whose deliberations -- and decisions -- are taken and issued in secret.

If this legislation passes, forget about ever getting a Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of the National Security Agency (NSA) collecting your telephone records, or damn near anything else they wish.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: