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Roberts to Dems: Don't play politics with national security

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Sen. Pat Roberts has an op-ed piece in today's [The Hill,][1] asking his Democratic colleagues to stop playing politics with national security issues.He writes: _Protecting the nation and its citizens from enemy attack was something on which most politicians could agree. Sadly it seems, only four and a half years after Sept. 11, that this is no longer the case.The problem has become apparent to me as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. While some of my colleagues talk about oversight, they seem less interested in fixing the intelligence community's problems than in the political benefit to be achieved by exploiting them.When the criminal leaking of the existence of the National Security Agency's terrorist surveillance program first broke in The New York Times and other media outlets, my colleagues, most with no actual knowledge of the program's details, declared that the president's actions were clearly unconstitutional and illegal. It was especially disappointing to see that even minority members who had been repeatedly briefed on the program, and had assented to its continuation, voiced heretofore unspoken and vague concerns and called for congressional investigations. Some even demanded the impeachment of the commander in chief - apparently for the high crime and misdemeanor of protecting the nation by collecting intelligence against a devious and vicious enemy.This is not oversight. It is political opportunism at its worst. Not surprisingly, it has consequences.There will be policy differences and much debate. That is what makes our republic great. These debates about national security, however, should be serious and rational, devoid of stunts and shrill, partisan attacks on the motives of others._There's more of the article at The Hill.Other links today:Sam Brownback links[(Broadcasting & Cable) PTC Trains Sights on Kids TV:][2] The Parents Television Council is taking aim at children's TV. The group, whose members have been a force in stepped up indecency enforcement through effective e-mail campaigns against adult shows that kids are exposed to, is taking its first in-depth look at how appropriate kids TV shows are for kids. On hand for the study's unveiling at the National Press Club Thursday in Washington will be Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), a frequent of broadcast programming and author of a bill to strengthen FCC oversight of content.[(WorldNetDaily) Conference tackles 'War on Christians':][3] A first-of-its-kind conference on "The War on Christians" will be held in Washington, D.C., this month to examine attacks from the news media, Hollywood, courts and activist groups. Conference convener Vision America says "The War On Christians And The Values Voter in 2006" will be the first "to consider the savage and accelerating" attacks by groups such as the ACLU and Anti-Defamation League. Speakers at the March 27-28 event will include Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan.; Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas; Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas; conservative leader Phyllis Schlafly; radio host Janet Parshall; and former Republican presidential candidates Gary Bauer and Alan Keyes. Panels at the conference include "The Gay Agenda: America Won't Be Happy," "The ACLU And Radical Secularism: Driving God From The Public Square," "Hollywood: Christians Through A Distorted Lens," "Jews Confront The War On Christians," "The Judiciary: Overruling God" and "The Media: Megaphone For Anti-Faith Values."Jerry Moran links[(AP) Congressional panel hears concerns about crop insurance:][4] The Army Corps of Engineers last year announced plans for two spring pulses on the Missouri River - one in March and one in May - to encourage spawning by an endangered fish, the pallid sturgeon. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency said in December that any flooding caused by the spring rise would not be covered under federal crop insurance policies because it is a man-made, not natural, event. But the subcommittee chairman, Jerry Moran, R-Kan., asked the Risk Management Agency to further explain the policy. "These kind of losses have always in the past been taken care of by crop insurance. Farmers' losses are farmers' losses," Moran said after the hearing.Todd Tiahrt links[(Wichita Eagle) 3 Democrats hope to challenge Tiahrt:][5] Three candidates intend to seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Todd Tiahrt, the 12-year incumbent Republican congressman from Goddard. And the field probably is not yet complete, said Kelly Johnston, chairman of the Sedgwick County Democratic Party.How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][6] [1]: http://www.hillnews.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/Frontpage/030106/ss_roberts.html [2]: http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6311264.html?display=Breaking+News [3]: http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=49044 [4]: http://www.belleville.com/mld/belleville/news/state/13982648.htm [5]: http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/news/state/13979088.htm [6]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed

Comments

Jamesaust 8 years, 1 month ago

"my colleagues, most with no actual knowledge of the program's details, declared that the president's actions were clearly unconstitutional and illegal."

Of course, this wasn't all that difficult to do seeing as the program did not follow the crystal clear requirements set forth by law and the Administration doesn't claim that it does. W instead claims that Congress cannot limit the President's authority constitutionally - a flawed argument much derided - and that Congress actually 'repealed' the statute by authorizing military action - a claim so absurd that no one of consequence in Congress INCLUDING ROBERTS has even tried to endorse it.

Reporting was made on a selective, limited, and incomplete basis in violation of the law. Roberts himself has 'aided and abetted' this violation by claiming that the statutory requirement that the "intelligence committee" be notified is satisfied by notifying him because the statute doesn't make clear (sufficiently) that "intelligence committee" means ALL the members of the committee. This sophistry is belied by the fact that only the committee AS A WHOLE has power to take any action (a/k/a, fulfill its legal and constitutional duty), and thereby serving to make Congress IRRELEVANT.

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derf 8 years, 1 month ago

Courage as Aristotle notes is the keystone of all the other virtues: if you haven't got it, you won't be having any other virtues either. It isn't just courage that is lacking from Congress¹it never is¹it's conscience and a prudential sense of integrity and long-term or providential self-interest. Not to mention any values whatsoever, other than in the form of mendacious and duplicitous rhetoric. But that is the grand advantage of a system of "representative" democracy for those who want to subvert it with a crypto-totalitarian substructure: it is no longer necessary to gain control by terroristic means over every quadrant of an entire mass-"public" (because of course a "mass-public" is in truth a contradiction in terms: no mass-form of order constitutes a politically aware and active public; any mass is defined by the reality that it has been radically reduced to pathos, it has had all the virtues conditioned out of it). Instead of having to extort control over a whole country en masse, modern systems of order enable a junta or putsch or mob to gain control merely through the most strategic concentrations of power. That is to say, all one has to do is manage, intimidate, penalize, organize, the so-called (long-ago corrupted) "representatives." It is vital to have a populace so benighted that they can only figure out way too late exactly who it is that "their" representatives actually represent.

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Baille 8 years, 1 month ago

How about we stop playing politics with our civil liberties, Pat?

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jimincountry 8 years, 1 month ago

I'd trust Roberts to be in DC before those posting here who advocate the 'CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG" liberal line. These libs, like those in Hollywood, would just turn everything over to the taliban types and then appeal to their sense of "justice" and their idea of heaven's supply of virgins for their reward. Maybe Hollywood will make a documentary in support of islamic bombers and star Jane Fonda and Whoopie Goldberg.

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derf 8 years, 1 month ago

And the party establishments represent the true puppetmasters, the global corporations and global wealth and power.

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derf 8 years, 1 month ago

They are puppets and not leaders and represent the party establishments and not the American people or their interests.

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jimincountry 8 years, 1 month ago

I think that the democrat party could have won in 2004 if they could find a candidate for whom reasonable people would vote. It seems the only people who want to be president border on unacceptable and we find ourselves voting against a candidate. The office of the president is filled with the person who is least objectionable to the voters except for the party base. As far as i'm concerned it has been this way since Reagan left office. Maybe I am just old and hard to please.

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dream 8 years, 1 month ago

Most legal scholors agree that the NSA spy program is illegal. Sad part is that if Bush were impeached we would be left with Cheney.

Roberts hasn't a clue and is only protecting the Republican party. Midterm elections ought to be interesting!

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jimincountry 8 years, 1 month ago

I think Roberts is correct. It is depressing that politicians denigrate each other instead of working together to protect the country. How did both parties deteriorate so much. They should be ashamed.

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Richard Heckler 8 years, 1 month ago

ksmattfish,

Thanks for getting to the point...

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cutny 8 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, Roberts really has his finger on the pulse of the nation.

What a joke. At least he's not as disillusioned as Brownback, thinking he has a shot at the presidency.

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DaREEKKU 8 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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bill_priff 8 years, 1 month ago

Pat is a little confused. It is "political opportunism" to hold back the phase two report as long as he has, and to attempt to not have hearings on the NSA program. He is worried about political opportunism now that he is being forced into performing the oversight he has done everything in his power to avoid? Get rid of that beam that is in thine own eye Pat. It might be the cause of some of your confusion.

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ksmattfish 8 years, 1 month ago

Pat is pro-torture and anti-Bill of Rights. It seems like he'd be more at home in a government position in N. Korea or Iran.

This is the United States, Pat. There aren't supposed to be torture and warrantless wiretaps here. America, land of the free, love it or leave it you SOB!!!

It's time for the citizens of America to wake up, and ask themselves who really has more negative influence on the future of our children: the foreign terrorists, or the DC politicians that will strip away our rights, and sell us out to the highest bidder.

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