February 8, 2006

HE CAN'T EVEN FRAME IT SO THAT CONGRESS HAS A POINT:

The Wrong Wiretap Debate (David Ignatius, February 8, 2006, Washington Post)

As quickly as you can say the words "Karl Rove," the debate over the National Security Agency's anti-terrorist surveillance program is degenerating into a partisan squabble. Rather than seeking a compromise that would anchor the program in law, both the administration and its critics are pursuing absolutist agendas -- insisting on the primacy of security or liberty, rather than some reasonable balance of the two. This way lies disaster.

The NSA surveillance debate truly deserves the overworked moniker "historic." This is a fundamental test of the authority of Congress and the executive in wartime. It pits the president's power as commander in chief under Article II of the Constitution against specific legislative rules mandated by Congress in the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.


So one side has the Constitution on its side and the other only its own say-so two hundred years into the Republic?

If Congress wants to save face by passing a law that acknowledges the Executive is doing what it's doing and pretends to authorize it, there's no harm in that. The President will just add a signing statement that explains that their action is superfluous and everyone goes away happy.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 8, 2006 5:43 PM
Comments

That darn Karl Rove! If not for him, we'd have peace on Earth by now.

Posted by: obc at February 8, 2006 7:19 PM

"knowing that he could not win the Civil War except by building a national consensus under a sound legal canopy"

Utter crap! Lincoln never let legalities stop him. I don't care what visiting profs say, the record is clear.

Posted by: Bob at February 8, 2006 7:40 PM

Karl Rove, EEEVVILLL GENIUS:)

Yes, Mr. Ignatius, this way lies disaster. But y'all just can't help yourselves, can you?

Posted by: Brad S at February 8, 2006 7:51 PM

The debate on this issue continues to amaze and disgust. I had read last week's Newsweek in a doctor's office and was saddened but not surprised to contrast the reasonable text with the gravely misleading captions and headings.

The facts are "data mining," but the spin is "warrantless searches."

Posted by: Lou Gots at February 8, 2006 8:00 PM

"...insisting on the primacy of security or liberty, rather than some reasonable balance of the two."

Let's see.......on one hand there is the security of not having some nutter drop a 100 story building on my head, on the other hand there is the liberty of the terrorist to have a private conference call to plan when to drop said building.

Hmmm, what to choose, what to choose, where should we compromise these two?

Don't these guys ever listen to what they are saying??!!??!!

Posted by: ray at February 8, 2006 8:36 PM

The intellectually correct alternative would be to repeal FISA, which is yet another disastous legacy of the decade the gave us Disco.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at February 8, 2006 8:49 PM

Bob:

Exactly, yet the Left has begun to realize that the Right's comparison of Bush to Lincoln is deadly for them, so they're trying desperately to push back with their pathetic b.s.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 8, 2006 9:25 PM
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