LJWorld.com weblogs Congressional Briefing

SATURDAY SPECIAL: Roberts wants more wiretapping oversight


Congressional Briefing doesn't typically run on Saturday, but every now and again our representatives in Washington do something unexpected that demands immediate notice.Without further adieu, here is what [The New York Times][1] is reporting today about Sen. Pat Roberts:The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Friday that he wanted the Bush administration's domestic eavesdropping program brought under the authority of a special intelligence court, a move President Bush has argued is not necessary.The chairman, Senator Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas, said he had some concerns that the court could not issue warrants quickly enough to keep up with the needs of the eavesdropping program. But he said he would like to see those details worked out.Mr. Roberts also said he did not believe that exempting the program from the purview of the court created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act "would be met with much support" on Capitol Hill. Yet that is exactly the approach the Bush administration is pursuing."I think it should come before the FISA court, but I don't know how it works," Mr. Roberts said. "You don't want to have a situation where you have capability that doesn't work well with the FISA court, in terms of speed and agility and hot pursuit. So we have to solve that problem."Mr. Roberts spoke in an interview a day after announcing that the White House, in a turnabout, had agreed to open discussions about changing surveillance law. By Friday, with Mr. Roberts apparently stung by accusations that he had caved to White House pressure not to investigate the eavesdropping without warrants, it appeared the talks could put the White House and Congress on a collision course.__Mr. Roberts's comments were surprising because he has been a staunch defender of the program and an ally of White House efforts to resist a full-scale Senate investigation. On Thursday, he pushed back a committee vote on a Democratic push to conduct an inquiry, saying he wanted to give the White House time to negotiate on possible legislation. On Friday, he dismissed accusations that he had bowed to pressure. [1]: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/18/politics/18nsa.html?_r=1&oref=slogin


Richard Heckler 12 years, 3 months ago

Why do voters not demand investigations of elected officials when serious allegations are on the table? Party affiliation is irrelevant.

Why do we allow elected officials to investigate each other? Isn't that a bit like rapists investigating each other?

How is it that a majority party leader can decide against an investigation and that be the rule of law? Could this not be conflict of interest? Special investigators and Grand Juries should be the deciding factors.

Do we expect Presidents to not comply with requests for documents? Isn't this also obstruction? How many administrations have NOT participated in this activity? I can think of none.

Why don't citizens demand investigations? When they do how is it elected officials can decide against it? Couldn't this be obstruction? Conflict of interest? Where is justice and due process? Again allow private investigators and Grand Juries to decide.

Voters do you care? To say and/or do nothing more or less implies such. Voting people back in office over and over could be sending the same message.

Why do elected officials spend about 50% of their time chasing down campaign funds and not only from their home state? How can they effectively pay attention to legislation?

Any time any president or cabinet member with secret service runs out to give a campaign speech do you have any idea how much that costs the taxpayer? Think about it.

Special interest money is controlling our country not you and I. Vote it out.

Sen Pat Roberts needs to be replaced. Pres. Bush should subjected to the same process as most americans when suspected of criminal activity. He should cough up documents and allow a grand jury to decide. All testimony under oath.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.