Terrorist rights Democrats subpoena records on intercepts of enemy communications

NY Times:

The Senate Judiciary Committee today issued subpoenas to the White House, Vice President Dick Cheney’s office and the Justice Department after what the panel’s chairman called "stonewalling of the worst kind" of efforts to investigate the National Security Agency’s policy of wiretapping without warrants.

The move put Senate Democrats squarely on a course they had until now avoided, setting the stage for a showdown with the Bush administration over one of the most contentious issues arising from the White House’s campaign against terrorism.

Senator Patrick J. Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who is chairman of the committee, said the subpoenas seek documents that could shed light on the legal basis used by the administration to justify the wiretapping, as well as on disputes within the government over its legality.

In addition, the panel is seeking materials on issues related to the wiretapping , including those concerning the relationship between the Bush administration and several unidentified telecommunications companies that aided the N.S.A. eavesdropping program.

The panel’s action was the most aggressive move yet by lawmakers to investigate the N.S.A. program since the Democrats gained control of Congress this year. Mr. Leahy said at a news conference today that the committee issued the subpoenas because the administration has followed a “consistent pattern of evasion and misdirection” in dealing with Congressional efforts to scrutinize the program. “It’s unacceptable. It is stonewalling of the worst kind,” he added.

The White House, the vice president’s office and the Justice Department declined today to say how they would respond to the subpoenas. “We’re aware of the committee’s action and will respond appropriately,” Tony Fratto, White House deputy press secretary, said.

“It’s unfortunate that Congressional Democrats continue to choose the route of confrontation,” he added.

A spokeswoman for Vice President Cheney also said his office would respond later, while a Justice Department spokesman said, “The department will continue to work closely with the Congress as they exercise their oversight functions, and we will review this matter in the spirit of that longstanding relationship.”


It is possible that Democrats may be so dense as to think in good faith that the US should jump through hoops and take a chance on missing plans for an enemy attack before intercepting enemy communications with their contacts in the US.

At this point I am very skeptical that Sen. Leahy acts in good faith about anything. He has obstructed the confirmation process on the courts and in the past has leaked information to the media that gave aid and comfort to the enemy. He is one of the worst senators in Washington when it comes to concern about national security. This whole investigation is based on his concern for terrorist rights. Leahy is a disgrace.


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