Just Say No

by digby

Deep, Heavy, Sigh:

The New York Times:

Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Bush administration has repeatedly demonstrated that it does not feel bound by the law or the Constitution when it comes to the war on terror. It cannot even be trusted to properly use the enhanced powers it was legally granted after the attacks.

Yet, once again, President Bush has been trying to stampede Congress into a completely unnecessary expansion of his power to spy on Americans. And, hard as it is to believe, Congressional Republicans seem bent on collaborating, while Democrats (who can still be cowed by the White House’s with-us-or-against-us baiting) aren’t doing enough to stop it.

The LA Times:

As it shifts into overdrive before a summer recess, Congress is debating whether to oblige the Bush administration with changes in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a law that the administration ignored for five years as the National Security Agency -- without court approval -- monitored the international phone calls and e-mails of U.S. residents suspected of ties with foreign terrorists.

Our advice: Hurry up and wait.


Tell Congress: Don't Cave in to Fear

President Bush is creating a false sense of emergency in Washington, demanding that Congress rubberstamp a spying program it knows almost nothing about. Meanwhile, the White House refuses to comply with requests for basic information about warrantless wiretapping and Congress can’t get straight answers out of Attorney General Gonzales.

Unbelievably, President Bush says if Congress doesn’t pass his legislation this week, the Democrats will be responsible for any terrorist attacks that may happen in August ,even though he’s demonstrated no relationship between his proposals and a safer America.

The worst part is that Congress may actually be falling for Bush’s rhetoric.

Take Action: Tell Congress NOT to Cave In to Fear.

Obviously, I'm not the only one who can't for the life of me figure out why the congress is doing this.

I just heard that Bush is going to keep the congress in session until he gets a bill. They should tell him they'll stay until hell freezes over, but he still gets no bill. There is no good reason why this needs to happen like this, on the run, with the congress not even really knowing for what they are voting. This issue has been out there for years and Bush didn't feel the need to keep the congress in session until it got passed. To hell with him.

I have the niggling feeling that there has been some pretty heavy cocktail and bar-b-que chatter in the capital this summer with the elders warning everyone that something is afoot, but they can't talk about the details. Suddenly the villagers are all acting like nervous cats on a hot tin roof and dancing around like it's the hot summer of 2002 again for no discernable rason.

If that's so and little birdies are whispering in ears, the congress should stay in town and hash this thing out for real instead of signing off on something they haven't read. And if that's so, the president also needs to stay in town instead of rushing off to clear that poor brush again on his "ranchette" set in Waco and negotiate in good faith to protect the American people. The fact that nobody is doing this suggests to me that if there is some fear mongering going on, everyone involved knows it's typical Bushian nonsense but they are afraid to take a chance just in case he gets lucky and hits another trifecta.

No. More. Executive. Power. Period. It's their job to figure out how to track terrorists without trampling on the constitution. If that means staying in town for the month August in that sweltering heat, well, that's what they're paid for.