Wednesday, March 08, 2006

It ain’t over, till it’s over.

Back on February 6th, I wrote that the White House has been twisting arms to ensure that no Republican member votes against President Bush in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s investigation of the administration’s unauthorized wiretapping.

Citing to an article in Insight, I reported that Karl Rove was threatening to withhold financial support for any Republican who didn’t toe the administration line on this matter.

Then, on President Lincoln’s birthday, I published, Republicans keeping us safer? in which I reported David Broder’s Washington Week observation that the Republicans could win by spinning the domestic spying issue into an issue of the Dems being unwilling or unable to protect Americans. But he added a big caveat: this could all change “if and when a court declares it is illegal.”

Today, the New York Times reported as follows:
Moving to tamp down Democratic calls for an investigation of the administration's domestic eavesdropping program, Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee said Tuesday that they had reached agreement with the White House on proposed bills to impose new oversight but allow wiretapping without warrants for up to 45 days.
Olympia Snow, (R-ME) said that the Congress was re-asserting its oversight function, because the deal creates a seven-member “terrorist surveillance subcommittee. The administration will be required to give it full access to the details of the program’s operations.

Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV) had a different take: “The committee is, to put it bluntly, basically under the control of the White House.” Well, that’s what bribery will do.

It may seem that those who thought the domestic spying scandal would result in the administration being held to answer for its crimes had gotten their hopes up too high. We shall see. The agreement still requires the Administration to co-operate, and we are talking about a crew that couldn’t pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were written on the heel.

Also, Broder may yet be proven correct.

“… and tell ’em Big Mitch sent ya!”

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