The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Senate Committe blocks wiretapping investigation

It sure would be nice to know what exactly happens to make the last few moderate Republicans (like Olympia Snowe) suddenly decide to drop their own positions and back the White House. Probably nothing more than a stern warning that they can kiss party support goodbye if they break ranks. But you never know.

And doesn't this all boil down to the legislative branch facilitating illegal activities on the part of the executive branch?

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence voted along party lines yesterday to reject a Democratic proposal to investigate the Bush administration's domestic surveillance program and instead approved establishing, with White House approval, a seven-member panel to oversee the effort.

Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) told reporters after the closed session that he had asked the committee "to reject confrontation in favor of accommodation" and that the new subcommittee, which he described as "an accommodation with the White House," would "conduct oversight of the terrorist surveillance program." (. . .)

Also yesterday, legislation sponsored by Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio), a member of the intelligence committee, drew support from two other key GOP panel members, Sens. Olympia J. Snowe (Maine) and Chuck Hagel (Neb.). It would permit warrantless surveillance of calls between the United States and another country involving "a designated terrorist organization" for 45 days, after which the government can stop the eavesdropping, seek a warrant, or explain to Congress why it wants to continue without a warrant.