Of Course the President Blocked NSA Review
It is not news to me, and it shouldn't really be news to anyone else, that President Bush himself blocked a Justice Department review of the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program. Of course he did. He is the chief executive officer, he oversees the Justice Department, and he gets to make the rules when it comes to what the executive branch, in all of its various forms, does and does not do. The NSA program is a creature of the executive branch. It was born there, and nurtured there, and it has been defended by executive branch officials. If it is a mistake, legal or otherwise, it's not going to be the executive branch, at least this one, that says so.
More surprising to me today, and disappointing, were Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' remarks about last month's Supreme Court decision which limited the president's power to prosecute the hundreds of detainees currently being held at a prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Attorney General continues to insist that Congress should rubber-stamp the Administration's plan to use "military commissions" (really just a form of military trial) to process the men out of the prison at Gitmo. These are the same commissions whose due process provisions the Supreme Court rejected. They are the same commissions that do not have broad support in Congress.
If the Attorney General is posturing before Congress to get a better deal he ought to quit. No one is listening anymore. And if he truly believes that those commissions are the answer going forward then he clearly hasn't been listening, either.
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