"There are some hugely important aspects of the Bush presidency that remain insufficiently examined, and the most important are about the run-up to war in Iraq.
Polls show that a majority of Americans believe President Bush and his associates intentionally misled the public in making their case for war. It's a terribly serious charge, if true. In fact, it's hard to imagine a more serious charge against a president.
Yesterday's filing of a civil lawsuit in the CIA leak case is quite possibly a legal dead-end, and arguably a thinly veiled attempt at political harassment. Nevertheless, it offers what may now be the most possible avenue of uncovering the truth."
"Here are some of the aspects of the deal negotiated between Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and the White House over the administration's warrantless domestic wiretapping program, as best I can tell:
* Bush voluntarily will request a ruling from a secret court the function of which historically has been to approve individual wiretap warrants, not assess the constitutionality of a massive, warrantless wiretapping program.
* It's not clear if the court actually will hear arguments from anyone outside the administration.
* The court's decision could be kept secret, and if the court decided to strike down the program, the administration could resubmit it for approval over and over again.
* In return, Congress would ban any other legal action on the issue; would relax eavesdropping rules generally; would recognize officially Bush's dubious assertion of expanded presidential power, and would gut the law that made Bush's program illegal in the first place.
One could argue that the big-talking Specter has been outfoxed again by the wily White House. But a press corps so used to the White House completely and utterly refusing to agree to anything is seeing this as a historic concession."