Saturday, July 15


Good for WaPo. They nail what's wrong with Arlen Specter's weasely bill caving in to Bush claims of unlimited executive power.

This bill is not a compromise but a full-fledged capitulation on the part of the legislative branch to executive claims of power. Mr. Specter has not been briefed on the NSA's program. Yet he's proposing revolutionary changes to the very fiber of the law of domestic surveillance -- changes not advocated by key legislators who have detailed knowledge of the program. This week a remarkable congressional debate began on how terrorists should face trial, with Congress finally asserting its role in reining in overbroad assertions of presidential power. What a tragedy it would be if at the same time, it acceded to those powers on the fundamental rights of Americans.

Wouldn't it have been remarkable to see Democrats in 1998 passing a bill to make it legal for the president to lie about his sex life? But then, retroactive enabling legislation is so quintessentially Republican.

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