Sunday, February 12, 2006

Just Change the [bleep]ing Law!

Sen. Pat Roberts and Rep. Pete Hoekstra are unbelievable. Two people who are in charge of making national security laws are arguing on Meet the Press this morning that because going through the process called for in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is too complicated and hard, the president was allowed to simply ignore FISA and spy on American citizens.

It may well be in our national security interest to spy on Americans who are making calls to suspected terrorists in another country. But everyone -- including the president -- must, according to our Constitution, follow laws currently on the books or change them, in accordance with the Constitution, to suit modern needs. If the current law is so inefficient, just change the damn law! Do Rep. Hoekstra and Sen. Roberts realize what kind of precedent it sets to allow the president to ignore statutes when they're inconvenient? Do they realize what it does to their power as people elected to make good, sound laws?

FISA is not a looney law. It was created to stop domestic wiretapping abuse, which Nixon had done with gusto. The administration's wiretapping program may be incredibly helpful (though reports on the program tell another story) and clean as a whistle, but simply ignoring the law opens us up to abuse in the future.


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