Sen. Leahy playing politics with lives of Americans

NY Post Editorial:

Senate Democrats this week escalated the game they're playing with Amer ica's national security. Two car bombs defused in the heart of London yesterday should be a wake-up call to them - but will it be?

Investigators say the bombs point to a "terror plot involving Islamic extremists" - just days short of the two-year anniversary of the "Tube" bombings that killed 52.

This shouldn't surprise; there is a war going on, after all - notwithstanding that on Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee issued subpoenas to the White House, Vice President Dick Cheney's office and the Justice Department demanding information on the National Security Agency's post-9/11 wiretapping policy.

Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy charged that the administration's refusal to hand over various documents is "stonewalling of the worst kind."

In fact, Leahy's activities are politics of the worst kind - to say nothing of giving what amounts to material comfort to the enemy.

There is no indication that the NSA program broke any laws. The program focused on international communications involving people in the United States who have links to suspected terrorists.

And, under guidelines that long predate the Bush administration, the agency is allowed to do precisely that.

There is no indication that the administration engaged in random domestic wiretapping of American citizens.

There is every indication, meanwhile, that it has successfully prevented attacks on American soil since 9/11.

...

The administration is correctly reticent to reveal sensitive information related to its tools in the War on Terror.

Leahy's use of the word "stonewall" is hardly accidental. That rhetorical relic of the Watergate period is plainly meant to suggest that the administration is up to something nefarious.

...

Leahy, meanwhile, should consider the potential cost of his irresponsible politicking. Does he want to be responsible for car bombings in America that might have been thwarted by an NSA intercept?

...

Leahy and the Democrats would be the first to condemn the administration for not connecting the dots and doing enough to stop the attacks. He is the lowest form of politician in Washington and should not be trusted with the information he is seeking because he is very likely to release for partisan gain and further jeopardize the lives of Americans. He has already been found guilty of leaking confidential data for political purposes in the past and there is no reason to trust him on this issue. On top of that, his point is idiotic. It is ridiculous in the extreme to require the administration to jump through hoops to intercept enemy communications with its agents in this country in a time of war. It is hard to think of a more absurd suggestion. Certainly Lincoln was not required to go to a FISA court to intercept telegraph communications of the Confederate Army. The FISA rules would be unconstitutional to the extent they tried to interfere with the inherent power of the President in a time of war.

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