Sunday, August 05, 2007

Congress Expands Secret Spying Plans

I posted the following over at KnoxViews today, a somewhat cautious post as I was entering the group blog thing for the first time there. I was and I am seeking some other opinons on the last-minute approval of an even larger federal secret surveillance program by Congress. I am fairly disappointed by the passage, though I wonder if it's worth bringing up. So I offer the post here, to see if anyone has a comment other than Trust The President.

I've never made a blog entry here, but this particular blog seems like the best forum to take my questions about what happened in Congress this weekend.

I'm referring to the passage, demanded by President Bush, of continuing to expand some questionable surveillance programs. I admit to having hopes they would be able to adjourn without voting on the bill, but realizing it would likely pass since this President seems to get from Congress whatever he wants or ignores them whenever he wants.

The always outspoken critic of the administration, Glenn Greenwald, writes about some of the same things the passage brought to my mind, but I have others too for your consideration.

Why was this bill not fought and debated as intently as the recent Iraq War funding debate? Was that just theatrics after all?

Why are Democrats (those who voted Yes are listed in Greenwald's article) caving to the President? Or was it caving in at all? Is this why Congress' approval ratings are so low?

I know the FISA bill has a limited lifespan, but once policies are made into law, they seldom end. I'm just not very happy with this approval and have been hoping that Congress would provide less approval, even if that means stalling the entire legislative agenda.

Not that I consider aggressive intelligence-gathering bad, far from it. But it sure seems like both the intelligence groups and the Attorney General's office have done a truly botched job in the last 6 years - so how can Congress justify expanding the roles of both groups?

UPDATE: Russ McBee has some thoughts on the passage of the bill, and more info on how it changes the spying rules is here at MetaFilter.

And one more thing to consider -- these changes in surveillance authority, would they be tolerated by Conservatives if the Attorney General was appointed by a Democrat president?

1 comment:

  1. alloyd410:56 AM

    Can we say "fascism"? I no more trust any member of government as far as I can throw them. I'm considering getting on my cell phone and saying things about assinations and dirty bombs and then counting own how long it takes to get arrested. Dirty bastards.