December 20, 2005
Some D.C. Democrats are demanding an investigation -- impeachment
even -- in the wake of last week's New York Times story
about the National Security Agency's warrantless eavesdropping on
international calls and e-mails from suspected terror players to
Americans. The shriller they get, the more President Bush looks
like a strong leader who is willing to stick out his neck and take
the heat to protect the American people.
New York Times reported, several officials credit the NSA
eavesdropping with uncovering a plot by Iyman Faris to bring down
the Brooklyn Bridge. The paper also reported that the NSA "special
collection program" began in early 2002, after the CIA captured
al-Qaida biggie Abu Zubaydah and others, along with their computers,
cell phones and directors. Are there really Americans who would
want intelligence agents to take their time -- delay hours or
more -- with that information?
-- please. While Bush's constant critics carp at the questionable
legality of what the White House did, it is clear that this is
no Watergate: Dubya authorized more than 30 orders extending the
NSA eavesdropping. This also is no Iran-Contra: The Bushies informed
members of Congress.
White House lawyer Brad Blakeman noted: "The fact is, it's
reviewed every 45 days. There's a paper trail for it being done.
There were consultations with Congress." Why the outrage,
then? Try: "Some of our democratic opponents are trying to
weaken this president at the expense of our country."
It is not
an attractive pattern -- far-left Democrats vote with Bush, then
pounce when the president's poll numbers drop. Note that some
Democrats who voted for the Patriot Act in 2001 -- as in California
Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein -- supported last week's
filibuster that prevented the Senate from voting up or down on
the measure's reauthorization.
said, the filibustering senators "need to explain why they
thought the Patriot Act was a vital tool after the September the
11th attacks but now think it's no longer necessary."
surely will happen next. The public will show support for Bush
on the Patriot Act. Then principle-challenged Democrats will find
a pretense for supporting the law.
Sorry, but if Democrats cared about civil liberties, they would
object to federal funding of random drug tests for public school
students. Oddly, many support random drug tests for innocent kids
-- then get teary-eyed about the privacy rights of cell-phone
the Democrats' about-face on Iraq. Too many supported the resolution
authorizing force in Iraq when it was popular, only to undermine
the war effort as support for the war softened in the polls --
with little a thought as to how their actions affect the welfare
of U.S. troops stationed abroad.
Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., warned, "It is time for Democrats
who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be commander
in chief for three more critical years, and that in matters of
war we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril."
Do I have
concerns about the NSA eavesdropping? Sure. But then, so did the
administration, which according to The New York Times,
suspended parts of the program as officials feared that the NSA
"was in danger of misleading" federal courts. Other
critics note the NSA could get warrants without much difficulty.
nation's spooks should obtain warrants unless there is good reason
not to. But if there is good reason not to get a warrant for calls
or e-mails coming from overseas, then, I say, eavesdrop first,
ask questions later.
As for the
get-Bush crowd, I have a little suggestion: Don't tie the hands
of the intelligence community -- and then hold hearings about
intelligence breakdowns if there is another attack on American
2005 Creators Syndicate