There Ought to Be a Law
Monday, February 6, 2006; Page A14
THE SENATE Judiciary Committee, which has summoned Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales to testify today about the administration's warrantless wiretapping, is likely to focus on questions of its legality. Those are crucial. But so is the question of whether it's possible to rework the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to accommodate the program. In other words, is there a way to have this intelligence, to the extent that it is useful, and outside oversight, too? Unfortunately, President Bush has peremptorily dismissed suggestions that the law be rewritten, asserting that doing so would risk revealing secret capabilities.
Without knowing the contours of the program, it's difficult to assess that risk. But al Qaeda certainly is aware that U.S. intelligence agencies monitor various forms of communications. Given that, why does it make sense to decide -- even before trying -- that there's no way to update the law without tipping off terrorists?
Could it possibly be that it is not the terrorists that BushCo does not want tipped off?
Come on people, for chrissake! Get a clue!