Democrat From Kentucky

Democrat from Kentucky
We promote fair and honest political discussion from all sides of the ideological spectrum While my own opinions and my contributors tend toward a more progressive view, that's not always the case. I ask people to comment freely and openly to promote fair discourse.
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Tom Daschle's Editorial Friday, December 23, 2005

Former Senator Tom Daschle put in his two cents in an editorial in the WaPo saying Congress never granted the president the powers he's saying he had.

In the face of mounting questions about news stories saying that President Bush approved a program to wiretap American citizens without getting warrants, the White House argues that Congress granted it authority for such surveillance in the 2001 legislation authorizing the use of force against al Qaeda. On Tuesday, Vice President Cheney said the president "was granted authority by the Congress to use all means necessary to take on the terrorists, and that's what we've done."

As Senate majority leader at the time, I helped negotiate that law with the White House counsel's office over two harried days. I can state categorically that the subject of warrantless wiretaps of American citizens never came up. I did not and never would have supported giving authority to the president for such wiretaps. I am also confident that the 98 senators who voted in favor of authorization of force against al Qaeda did not believe that they were also voting for warrantless domestic surveillance.

So we see a slight controversy. Obviously we've had a minor misunderstanding about the Constitutional defined powers of the various branches...which seems to be a trend these days. While I don't feel Daschle is necessarily a bastion of truth over other politicians, I tend to believe his side of things in this current discussion. THe president clearly overstepped his bounds and many people on both sides are scratching their heads.

While courts have said the NSA can listen in on conversations, the ruling didn't appear to overturn the FISA statutes which merely say the agencies involved must eventually get a warrant...after 72 hours or 3 days. I don't see what the big deal is on that. Besides, in discussing this issue with D-Man earlier, he suggested we need to quit wasting so much time wiretapping and actually put some personnel in the field...people who speak arabic and know how these groups operate. Heaven forbid they might come up with something useful. But our government does like their toys.

posted by Stithmeister @ 10:22 AM

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Location: Harrodsburg, Kentucky, United States

I'm currently working in the telecomm industry but one of my passions is still politics.

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