Are Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee 'Lap Dogs' of the White House?
Like Dick Cheney, they are good with guns.
And they are never a victim of "push-back" dealing with even the toughest challenge of nature.
They have been skillful at getting answers with tough questions.
So why would anyone think that they were "Lap Dogs" of the White House?
This is Senator Pat Roberts, Republican from Kansas.
Senator Roberts is Chairman of the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He doesn't like being called a "lap dog". According to him, he negotiated firmly with the White House about the Domestic Wiretapping controversy.
"There was a lot of pushback," Mr. Roberts said. "So we kept saying, I am sorry, that is not acceptable, and the reality is such that you will either do this or you will face bigger obstacles and we will get into confrontation."
This is Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia:
Senator Roberts and Senator Rockefeller don't exactly share the same opinion on how the Republicans on the Intelligence Committee stood up to the White House.
The Republican proposal would give Congressional approval to the eavesdropping program much as it was secretly authorized by Mr. Bush after the 2001 terrorist attacks, with limited notification to a handful of Congressional leaders. The N.S.A. would be permitted to intercept the international phone calls and e-mail messages of people in the United States if there was "probable cause to believe that one party to the communication is a member, affiliate, or working in support of a terrorist group or organization," according to a written summary of the proposal issued by its Republican sponsors. The finding of probable cause would not be reviewed by any court.and
But after 45 days, the attorney general would be required to drop the eavesdropping on that target, seek a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court or explain under oath to two new Congressional oversight subcommittees why he could not seek a warrant.
Mr. DeWine, a principal author of the proposal, said it would give "very specific pinpoint oversight."Thus, the Republicans were real tough with the White House.
"We will be seeing specific cases coming back and seeing why they are not going into the FISA court," he said.
In an emergency, the existing FISA statute permits the government to eavesdrop for 72 hours before getting a warrant, and for 15 days after a declaration of war. The Republican proposal would permit eavesdropping with no warrant for 45-day periods, with no limit on how many times they could be renewed.
When the President is found to be in violation of FISA law, they don't prosecute crime, they change the law to facilitate abuse.
So what else is new?
But don't worry. President Bush didn't have sex in the Oval Office with anyone.
Now THAT would be an impeachable offense.
No, the Republicans aren't lap dogs.
Lap dogs are cute. They are lovable. They are earnest and loyal.
No those on the Intelligence Committee who facilitate abuse of Civil Liberties in America are worms.
America deserves better! We deserve politicians who are statesmen and not flunkies. Leaders who defend the Constitution and who do not cave in to political pressure.
Hey John Kerry! America needs your strength and integrity to provide leadership in this rudderless Senate. We need your ideals and convictions to defend our freedoms.