Worried About Wiretaps
February 20, 2006 - 6:03pm ET
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Thanks to DailyKos for flagging this post from lawyer-blogger Glenn Greenwald on the politics surrounding the ever-widening NSA scandal. What's worth highlighting is Greenwald's attack on Democrats for shrinking from a full-scale assault on the White House about the program out of fear the issue wouldn't play well in the mid-term elections. Fear that Democrats would look—you guessed it—soft on national security. While pointing out how the scandal is roiling the Republican Party, Greenwald wonders:
<!--StartFragment --> What is missing from this whole equation is any real effort on the part of Democrats to push all of this forward. Imagine where things would be -- how bad things would be for the White House -- if Democrats hadn't decided early on that this is an issue they should run away and hide from, rather than pursue with relentless aggression.
As Greenwald points out, the NSA story will not die, thanks in large part to ongoing coverage and investigations by the media:
Ever since the NSA scandal began, Bush followers, led by Karl Rove, and even some frightened Democrats, have loudly insisted that this scandal is actually beneficial for Republicans, because they can use it to depict Democrats as weak on national security. Democrats want to hang up when Osama calls, while Bush is being aggressive in protecting our children from being blown up. As a result, they claimed, Republicans want this scandal to last as long as possible because it will only benefit Republicans politically and damage Democrats by highlighting their vulnerabilities.
While spouting that bravado, the Administration's actions reveal that they fear this scandal and want more than anything for it to disappear. At every turn, they have tried to prevent a meaningful investigation into the legality of their actions. If the NSA scandal is really the political weapon which the GOP can use to bash Democrats as being weak on national security, wouldn't the White House be doing the opposite - that is, encouraging every hearing and investigation possible?
The supplemental claim we hear most from the Administration is that this scandal is dying. It will all fade away with some nice legislation designed to render legal the President's four years of deliberate law-breaking. But the NSA scandal continues to dominate the news. Every day brings more conflicts, more disputes, more internecine fighting among Republicans. Indeed, Republicans are all fighting with each other on virtually every aspect of this scandal - when have we ever seen that?
Just review media reports on this scandal over the last 24 hours alone. Does this sound like an Administration that welcomes this scandal as something that is politically beneficial? Does this sound like a scandal that is dying? Continue reading here .
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