Who Can Trust George W Bush? Or for that Matter, Arlen Specter?
Bush's administration decided to conform to the FISA law. At least that's what they said. So in my post about this dramatic change-of-heart, I opined:
I hope that Senator Levin asks what new guidelines have been put in place that addressed the administration's concerns because it's pretty obvious the original FISA court was pretty darn speedy in granting requests that came to them.
Pretty cynical reaction, one might say. But not quite cynical enough for these bastards. How about the Justice department suborning a judge to give them carte blanc for doing just what they were already doing in spying on who ever they want when ever Bush wants without any oversight? According to Representative Heather Wilson, that's what she thought they might be doing.
And they lied about informing the Congress. How about informing some select staff members rather than the Congressmembers?
Finally, can we give a big jeer to Senator Arlen Specter who bent over backwards to strip the Congress and the American people in being able to vet the people that Bush appoints as US prosecutors. Of course, Specter decided that no one would be worried to be investigated by an extreme partisan player who might have political reasons for trying to destroy their target. Evidently inserting this little item into a bill without any discussion was Specter's gift to Bush.
According to the original law, the Attorney General could appoint interim U.S. Attorneys, but if they were not nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate within 120 days of being appointed, the federal district court would appoint a replacement. The new law wiped away that 120 day rule, in effect allowing the administration to handpick replacements and keep them there in perpetuity without the ordeal of Senate confirmation.
When Specter helped Bush undermine the judiciary and prosecutorial arms of our systems, he betrayed our Constitution to benefit the interests of a President who wants to institute a tryanny where arbitrary and capricious application of the law is the norm. As Digby noted once, there is something ironic about how those who were most opposed to the Soviet Union are the ones who are most anxious to adopt their despotic policies.