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Friday, January 20, 2006

Kerry Donor Advising Congress on Legality of NSA Intercepts Program; DOJ Posts Memo on Issue

Mainstream mediaites, Democrats on Capitol Hill and Left activists the world over are beside themselves with froth and fury over a Congressional Research Service study released a few days ago that questions the legality of the Bush NSA program for eavesdropping on telephone conversations between people in the states and al Qaeda types overseas.

Now it turns out that the author of that study was a financial supporter of the 2004 John Kerry presidential campaign. And not just a $50 here and $25 there donor, either. His name is .... no, wait a minute, if I tell you that now you will miss Tom Maguire's superb analysis of the state-of-play on the legality issue and how it is being (mis)-reported by the MSM.

So go here and read the whole JustOneMinute post. Then not only will you have a new insight into the continuing isolation of the analyst staff at CRS, but you will be absolutely up-to-date on the legality of a classified program that may be a key to our ability to stymie future 9/11s. Hey, no need to thank me, thank Maguire.

Somebody else to thank is whoever leaked the Justice Department's 42-page memo explaining and defending Bush's legal authority to initiate the NSA program to a liberal blogger. Wizbang's Rob Port has some interesting comments about the memo and links to the publishing site and a pdf of the memo itself.

I especially appreciate this comment by Port: "As has been pointed out several times before on this blog Congress has always been capable of acting as a "check" on these executive powers being utilized by the President."

Port is exactly right because in any showdown among the branches, Congress has "all the ultimate weapons," thanks to the Constitution. And we aren't only talking about the fact the Congress holds the purse strings.

The "ultimate weapons" argument was superbly made by Willmoore Kendall and George Carey in their "The Basic Symbols of the American Political Tradition." This is a must-read for anybody who presumes to comment about American politics.