Democrat From Kentucky

Democrat from Kentucky
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The Wiretapping War Begins Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Senate Judiciary Committee started requesting information from the administration and the administration naturally said, "No!" The committee asked for classified legal opinions on the domestic spying program and since they were refused, a political war will ensue.

In many ways, this much more than just domestic wiretapping scandal. This is a fight for the very foundation of our society. It's a battle between the executive and legislative branches. Right now, Arlen Specter is running the show and White House told him where to go.

The Justice Department is balking at the request so far, administration officials said, arguing that the legal opinions would add little to the public debate because the administration has already laid out its legal defense at length in several public settings.

But the legality of the program is known to have produced serious concerns within the Justice Department in 2004, at a time when one of the legal opinions was drafted. Democrats say they want to review the internal opinions to assess how legal thinking on the program evolved and whether lawyers in the department saw any concrete limits to the president's powers in fighting terrorism.

With the committee scheduled to hold the first public hearing on the eavesdropping program on Monday, the Justice Department's stance could provoke another clash between Congress and the executive branch over access to classified internal documents. The administration has already drawn fire from Democrats in the last week for refusing to release internal documents on Hurricane Katrina as well as material related to the lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

So what happens now? The committee will probably issue formal subpoenas for the stuff. Then we'll see whether or not the court will order him to give it up. This is going to be real interesting to watch in an "interesting times" sort of way. I think we have a real constitutional crisis brewing here too. It's almost got me a little scared. We have a nation ruled by law. The problem is the executive branch thinks it's Judge Dredd.

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posted by Stithmeister @ 9:14 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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