Saturday, February 23, 2008
Tap dancing fiends
Two days after top intelligence officials told Congress that U.S. spy agencies had been forced to miss intelligence since House Democrats allowed the government's expanded phone wiretapping authority to expire last week, the Bush administration said today that the program would resume under current law. The Justice Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a joint statement Saturday saying telecommunications companies had agreed to continue to cooperate with the wiretapping program despite not getting the proposed immunity. "Although our private partners are cooperating for the time being, they have expressed understandable misgivings about doing so in light of the ongoing uncertainty and have indicated they may well discontinue cooperation if the uncertainty persists," the statement said, according to the Reuters international news agency. Well, isn't that good of them. Well, perhaps not. If people can be compelled to testify and turn over documents in court, certainly corporations can be required to do so. So, what's the point? Looks like there actually was none and the administration was merely playing the national security card one more time to intimidate Congress into yet another false step. That must be why President Bush has refused to compromise with Congress or agree to a temporarily renewal of the wiretapping authority.