Tuesday, January 31, 2006


I just finished reading this at Firedoglake:

The next big battle on the horizon are the NSA wiretap hearings coming up next week.

On February 6 the Judiciary Committee will begin questioning Alberto Gonzales.

I hope everyone will stop by Glenn Greenwald's blog and take time to look over his post on the points he believes will be the most important to cover during this process and to contribute your ideas. Glenn has a lot of people's ears right now after his work on the topic made headlines so it's a great way to prepare for and contribute to something that's going to be very critical for all of us.

I believe the paramount objective with these hearings is to force out into the open the theories of Presidential power which the Administration has embraced in order to justify its transgressions of FISA -- not just as applied to eavesdropping but with respect to all decisions broadly relating to the question of how this country will respond to the threat of terrorism. Thus, the questions posed to Attorney General Gonzales should absolutely not be confined strictly to the question of the NSA eavesdropping program, but must explore how the Administration’s theories of its own power apply generally.

The Committee, with its questioning, must make clear to the public that this scandal is not about whether we should be eavesdropping on Al Qaeda, because everyone agrees that we should and must do that. That is why we have a law -- FISA -- which specifically authorizes eavesdropping on terrorists. Nobody opposes eavesdropping. The scandal is about -- and these hearings must therefore emphasize -- the scope of the President’s claimed powers, and specifically his claimed power to act without what the Administration calls "interference" from the Congress or the courts, even including -- literally -- engaging in actions which are expressly prohibited by the criminal law.

Digby recommends:

Read the entire post and look at the questions. Glenn is looking for feedback on this. He received some major media attention this past week from Knight Ridder, the NY Times and The Washington Post for his outstanding catch of the administration's 2002 objection to loosening the FISA laws. He is in a position now to advance this another step.

Glenn has divided the 10 questions into the following two posts:
questions 1-5,
questions 6-10.

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