Monday, January 23, 2006

Kennedy Calls For Special Prosecutor

By EVAN LEHMANN, Sun Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Edward Kennedy assailed President Bush yesterday for conducting unauthorized eavesdropping on Americans and introduced a resolution that seeks to undermine Bush's legal reasoning for the program.

Vice President Dick Cheney, meanwhile, defended the National Security Agency program as constitutional, credited the warrant-less wiretaps with saving American lives, and pledged that government agents only listen in on terrorists and their associates.

What a pile of Crappola!

Kennedy's resolution rejects the administration's claim that a congressional resolution passed days after Sept. 11 attacks, authorizing the use of military force against terrorists inherently permits the White House to listen in on American phone conversations without a warrant.

"If President Bush can make his own rules for domestic surveillance, Big Brother has run amok," Kennedy said yesterday. "We need a thorough investigation of these activities. Congress and the American people deserve answers, and they deserve answers now."

...and we are going to get them, one damned way or the other. We are sick of this crap!

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee and a cosponsor of the resolution said: "Spying on Americans without first obtaining the requisite warrants is illegal, unnecessary and wrong. No president can simply declare when he wishes to follow the law and when he chooses not to."

Kennedy said the "exclusive" authority to wiretap American phones is possessed by secret courts created under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Those courts can issue warrants for domestic wiretaps.

Cheney omitted any mention of the 2001 resolution authorizing force as a justification for the program in comments yesterday. Instead, Cheney emphasized that he and the president have "all the authority we need" under Article II of the Constitution. He also said "previous actions of the Congress" justify the program.

"This is not a domestic surveillance program, as it's been referred to frequently by the press or some of our critics," Cheney said, according to a White House transcript. "At least one end of the communications involve al Qaeda and a connection outside the U.S."

Cheney is a Class-A Liar! If it is not a domestic surveillance program, prove it!

Kennedy's non-binding resolution could not force an end to the program. But Leahy said it would "set the record straight."

"It is an important first step toward restoring checks and balances between the co-equal branches of government," Leahy said.

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