Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Surrender is a perfectly acceptable alternative: Looks like the Senate has no intention of investigating the White House's NSA surveillance program. The capitulation seems to be a direct result of pressure from President Bush for Congress to back off.

I agree with the rationale the White House offers about how we need to track potential terrorists living in the United States and communicating with Al Qaeda operatives abroad. That makes perfect sense.

But what I'm most concerned about is whether that is the extent of the program. And even if that is the case now, we need to know whether there is a potential for abuse later.

That's why the law needs to make clear what we can and cannot do. And Congress needs to have some oversight.

Let's just assume for argument's sake that officials in the Bush administration are perfect angels and would never do anything wrong (stay with me). That doesn't prevent the next administration from abusing the good program that Bush created. It sets a bad precedent to give the executive branch this much power without any oversight.

Power breeds corruption. While we may need this program now, we need to hold people accountable to make sure the power isn't abused. Only Congress can do that (if at all).

I'm itching for a divided government again.


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