Tuesday :: Mar 27, 2007

When "Change The Law" Is The Only Accountability

by Steve


In any normal administration, lapses in judgment and defects in execution are dealt with by dumping the agency chief or cabinet secretary. But in the accountability-free Bush Administration, Congress knows that you can be a complete f*ck-up and still keep your job, because the Clown MBA at the top only cares about loyalty and not effectiveness. See: Alberto Gonzales.

So it comes as no surprise that FBI chief Robert Mueller found himself pleading today with the Senate Judiciary Committee to not change the Patriot Act provisions that grant his bureau powers it already has demonstrated it can’t manage legally. Mueller wants the Senate to believe that he has learned from his poor management and can do the job now, and is asking the Senate for another chance to correctly implement the Patriot Act.

Sorry Bobby, but it ain’t going to happen. Since the Senate knows that ineptitude is not a disqualifier in this administration until it becomes politically inconvenient, Congress is left with fixing things by changing the law. The truth is that Mueller has been a disaster from Day One, and his plea for “just one more chance” is falling on deaf ears today, even from GOP senators who have had enough.

Citing the inspector general report on national security letters and his previous reports criticizing FBI reporting of terrorist cases, of weapons and laptops losses, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said, “Every time we turn around there is another enormous failure by the bureau.”
“There’s another headline virtually on a daily basis,” Specter added, citing a Washington Post report Tuesday that agents had submitted inaccurate data to a court that issues warrants for foreign intelligence surveillance.
“The question arises as to whether any director can handle this job and whether the bureau itself can handle the job,” Specter said, proposing that the panel give serious consideration to establishing a separate domestic intelligence agency like Britain’s MI-5.
Mueller said he had reduced the problem since learning of it in 2005 but noted that the warrant applications are very long and contain thousands of facts.
“I’m not impressed with your assertion that there are thousands of facts,” Specter said. “That’s your job. You asked for these powers; we gave you them. If these applications are wrong, you’re subjecting people to an invasion of privacy that ought not to be issued.”
The Senate plainly sees that Bush continues to support flameouts like Mueller and hacks like Gonzales, so the only way to force accountability is to change the law instead of the person. Bush will veto the changes of course, but don’t be surprised if he loses this one.
Steve :: 12:49 PM :: Comments (5) :: Digg It!