Thursday, January 05, 2006

It's About The Checks And Balances, Stupid

I can't say anything new here that hasn't already been said about how wrong Bush is on this warantless wiretapping issue, so I won't.

I will, however, comment on what should be done about it.

First, all warantless wiretaps need to stop immediately. The excuse that they need to do this to be able to 'act quickly' is moot given the 72 hour 'warantless' window that FISA allows. Bush should be able to operate within that parameter or propose a change in law. However, any proposed law needs to include a provision that allows oversight. Period. This is not a dictatorship.

Second, in an effort to mop up the previous lack of oversight, I propose a bipartisan panel of congress members with clearance (oh.. let's say... the members who were previously 'briefed' on the existence of this nefarious program?) who can review each and every one of the warantless wiretaps that Bush has signed off on. Upon review, if they are all deemed to be wiretaps on bonified terrorist suspects, then nothing is disclosed. If, upon review, any of the wiretaps are shown to involve detractors, political opponents or peaceful activists then that information will be revealed to the public in full.

Checks and Balances. Oversight. Without that, the terrorists have won.