Wednesday, May 17, 2006

We're in Trouble

In a post on the NSA Spy Scandal, Spies 'R (On) Us, I quoted from CNN's Cafferty File, during which Jack Cafferty said: "We'd better all hope nothing happens to Arlen Specter, the Republican head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, because he might be all that's standing between us and a full-blown dictatorship in this country."

In his Unclaimed Territory blog, Glenn Greenwald reports that Specter has rolled over on the NSA's warrantless eavesdropping scheme by making the program essentially FISA-proof. Greenwald quotes from The Hill, Specter strikes NSA deal:

Specter has mollified conservative opposition to his bill by agreeing to drop the requirement that the Bush administration seek a legal judgment on the program from a special court set up by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978.

Instead, Specter agreed to allow the administration to retain an important legal defense by allowing the court, which holds its hearings in secret, to review the program only by hearing a challenge from a plaintiff with legal standing, said a person familiar with the text of language agreed to by Specter and committee conservatives.

Former Daily News reporter Shaun Mullen, who blogs at Kiko's House, explains:
There used to be a joke (and probably still is) in the newsrooms where I worked to the effect that Arlen Specter was able to talk out of both sides of his mouth at the same time.

"Wafflin' Arlen," as we called the veteran Republican senator from Pennsylvania, marched before the cameras after USA Today reported that the NSA's domestic spying program was much broader than previously disclosed and announced that his Senate Judiciary Committee would be holding hearings posthaste to get to the bottom of this Orwellian outrage.
Noting the Cafferty line about Specter, he said:
I noted that Mr. McCaffery might be jumping the gun given Specter's history as a waffler. I was right.

The Hill reports . . . that Specter, true to form, has capitulated to right-wing colleagues who have been blocking a long overdue judicial review of the NSA program.
So, does that mean that it's offfical now? We are now the other "D" -- and I don't mean Democratic.

~ ~ ~ ~
Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. -- George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

Tags: , , , ,

No comments: