The Washington Post reports that the president’s “national security agenda”–that is, its campaign to undermine the Fourth Amendment (and the Geneva Convention)–is faltering:
Frist surprised senators yesterday on the warrantless wiretapping issue, sending surveillance legislation already approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee to the intelligence committee for further review. With one week left to consider the bill on the Senate floor, Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), an intelligence committee member, said passage before the election would be “extremely ambitious.”
The intelligence committee is considered hostile to legislation worked out between Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and the White House. That bill would allow but not order the administration to submit its warrantless surveillance program to a secret national security court for constitutional review. The program involves monitoring overseas phone calls and e-mails of some Americans when one party is suspected of links to terrorism.
Three Republicans on the intelligence committee–Snowe, Sen. Mike DeWine (Ohio) and Sen. Chuck Hagel (Neb.)–have co-authored competing legislation that would give Congress considerably more oversight of the program.
It’s good to see Republicans standing up to the president in defense of civil liberties. I wish I could have said the same for a certain “moderate” senator from Pennsylvania.
Hat tip: EFF