24 January 2006

You Cannot Be Serious

All apologies to John McEnroe, but for the love of God:
In June, 2002, Republican Sen. Michael DeWine of Ohio introduced legislation (S. 2659) which would have eliminated the exact barrier to FISA which Gen. Hayden yesterday said is what necessitated the Administration bypassing FISA.


[A]s of June, 2002 -- many months after the FISA bypass program was ordered -- the DoJ official who was responsible for overseeing the FISA warrant program was not aware (at least when he submitted this Statement) of any difficulties in obtaining warrants under the FISA "probable cause" standard, and for that reason, the Administration would not even support DeWine's amendment. If - as the Administration is now claiming - they had such significant difficulties obtaining the warrants they wanted for eavesdropping that they had to go outside of FISA, surely Baker - who was in charge of obtaining those warrants - would have been aware of them. And, if the Administration was really having the problems under FISA, they would have supported DeWine's Amendment. But they didn't.
And it turns out that White House Counsel was concerned that DeWine's amendment was actually unconstitutional as well, despite the fact that the DeWine proposal carried with it more restrictions than the current system the administration uses.

So, in 2002, James Baker ---not the James Baker --- rejected the notion that there was a need to relax the standard by which warrants were granted. In 2002, The White House Counsel's office rejected DeWine's amendment as likely unconstitutional. In 2002, Congress rejected the amendment out of hand. Yet, now we are told that the the DoJ, White House Counsel, Attorney General and Congress are all on board --- and have been --- with the vague and wide-reaching FISA warrantless wiretapping program that is being conducted?

You cannot be serious.

Ahem: I did not perform the due diligence on my reference to James Baker. The post now reads correctly on that front. I apologize for being a bed researcher for the second day in a row, not to mention the year's worth during thesis writing in 2002-03.


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