Saturday, July 15, 2006

a historic concession

* froomkin:
"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."

* froomkin:
"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."

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