And Senator Russ Feingold is the lone Democrat standing up and saying he should be held accountable.
Our own Senator Arlen Specter, head of the Judiciary Committee will be holding hearings this Friday on Senator Feingold's call to censure the President for wiretapping without warrants. Could Senator Specter actually be making a sincere effort to do the right thing? Or, will these hearings be held just to make it look like he gave the resolution a fair hearing, and then bury it?
Here are his comments about censure in this brief New York Times article:
March 25, 2006
Senator Sets Hearing on Censure of Bush
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
WASHINGTON, March 24 — The Senate Judiciary Committee has set a hearing for next Friday on the call by Senator Russell D. Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin, to censure President Bush for his approval of a program to allow electronic eavesdropping without warrants.
Senator Arlen Specter, the Pennsylvania Republican who is chairman of the panel, said he had decided to schedule the session after Mr. Feingold, in a television interview, pressed for hearings on the censure proposal.
Mr. Specter said his intent was not to use the session as a political forum but to explore issues surrounding the proposed censure. He said he believed the proposal was baseless.
"I am prepared to deal with it," Mr. Specter said. "I am sure not going to sit back and have Feingold spout off."
It's interesting that he says his intent isn't to get political and will look at the facts around the censure, and then in the next breath he calls the proposal "baseless". He then proceeds to take a potshot at Senator Feingold. A precurser that fairplay may not be the tone set by Senator Specter in these hearings? Pennsylvanian's and all American's can watch the hearings on Cspan and see if Senator Specter stands up for the American people, or covers up for a president who broke the law. Let's call or write and tell him we support holding the president accountable.
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In an exerpt from a March 17, 2006 editorial in the Capital Times, a Wisconsin paper from Senator Feingold's home state, the error of Bush's actions is explained clearly:
Feingold's argument is a fundamental one: "What the president did by consciously and intentionally violating the Constitution and the laws of this country with this illegal wiretapping has to be answered."
There is no serious debate on this point. Bush did what he did. The president initially tried to lie about it, but when his actions were exposed, he acknowledged that he had authorized the eavesdropping and said he would continue to do so. That was a direct affront to the Constitution and the Congress that enacted rules regarding wiretaps.
Of course, it is unlikely that this Senate will stand up to Bush on warrantless wiretapping. It refused to stand up for civil liberties in the initial Patriot Act fight of 2001 and again when the law was reauthorized this year. It refused to stand up for common sense and the long-term national security interests of the United States in the debate over whether to allow the president to go to war with Iraq, and it has refused to do so in the debate about how long this country will remain in the quagmire of Bush's creation . . .
Feel free to comment and express what you think.