February 07, 2006

Can Congress Stand Up?

This war on terror is serious to some of us. To others, it's an excuse to find fault with President Bush and his policies regarding just about everything. So many groups and experts claim the threat isn't important enough to justify spying, on the very (non) people who seek to harm us. Media outlets are at war too, with the Adminstration. Always living in some past decade, the Democrats/Liberals are not progressive with their actions.

Technology, terrorist methods and the means to counteract them are constantly changing. Will Congress change too?

If lawmakers act rightly in the wake of this week's National Security Agency hearings, they will change the statutes that govern electronic surveillance to comport with what the Constitution inherently allows and what vigilance against terrorists requires. Not that it matters much: The president already has the authority to find and defeat our enemies.

President Bush will be pursuing terrorists regardless of whether Congress signs on. The question is whether Congress remains a partner in the fight against terrorists or makes itself irrelevant.

I have been questioning Congress's ability to stand up to the right things as well. For the past several months we hear constant whining and complaining from Democrats- the Kerry/Kennedy dynasty; John Murtha's use of his service as a backdrop to his demands the war in Iraq end; (S)Hillary's use of these important concerns as a means to her end-the White House; Screamin Howie Dean and the endless rants about Republicans being stupid. evil war mongers.
While they all go on and on, the terrorists are planning and plotting.

To play a constructive role -- something better than the current, thinly veiled obstructionism -- it will first need to stop taking some of its members seriously. Like Sen. Patrick Leahy, Vermont Democrat, on Monday: "My concern is for peaceful Quakers who are being spied upon, and other law-abiding Americans and babies and nuns who are placed on terrorist watch lists." None of which has anything to do with the NSA program, which tracks international calls with al Qaeda on one end. Sen. Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania Republican, is not far behind Mr. Leahy in his misapprehension of the NSA program.
Senator Leahy should be acting more his age, but he choses to act like a misinformed bratty kid who thinks he knows everything. My concern is the for the peaceful Quakers, babies and nuns as well as every other American. That we all have the opputunity to live without the active threats we saw on September 11 2001.
Once it learns to ignore Pat Leahy and company, Congress should realize the function of the NSA's surveillance. As Attorney General Alberto Gonzales put it yesterday: "It is the modern equivalent to a scout team sent ahead to do reconnaissance or a series of radar outposts designed to detect enemy movements," he explained. "As with all wartime operations, speed, agility, and secrecy are essential to its success." Would Congress have tried to thwart President Roosevelt's intelligence operations after Pearl Harbor? That's the question lawmakers should ask themselves. Any responsible lawmaker would have to say no.
If today's (Democrat) Congress were active back in those days around Pearl Harbor they most certainly would have fought against every attempt to protect this country. I have no doubt. Even in the shadows of the fallen twin towers we heard rumblings and rants coming from the mouths of some.
The Constitution is not a suicide pact, as Justice Robert H. Jackson famously said. But in this case, it's not even the Constitution that's disputed; it's a law from the 1970s which certain members of Congress think enables them to usurp the president's inherent authority to protect the nation.

Note that every president, Democrat or Republican, has authorized foreign-intelligence surveillance without a court order since the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act became law in 1978.

No, the Constitution is not a death warrant...but the modern day Democrats want it to be just that- as long as Bush is President. This is all it's about: Their blind hatred of one man. It clouds over their vision of the world as it really is; they cannot be objective. They don't see a threat even though we all saw it on 9-11-01.

Posted by Raven at February 7, 2006 05:11 AM | TrackBack

I think you're right. Sometimes, things happen too fast to get a warrant. Plus, the Constitution is so old, it can't always be followed to the letter.

Posted by Richie at February 7, 2006 07:17 AM

Thomas Sowell has a great column today that addresses this issue.

Senators and Representatives are getting red in the face about just how the silverware ought be placed on the table...while we are in the middle of a VERY dangerous time. We do not need politicians (in the low sense of that word) just now, we need serious people that are paying attention the world and just how to assure that our children and grandchildren have a future.

I expect better from the Legislative Branch, but am mostly always disappointed. NO, that is much too benign a word. Angry, disgusted and worried would be more accurate.

Posted by tad at February 7, 2006 08:07 AM

This leftist opposition to homeland security and the GWOT only confirms the wisdom the majority of the American public has to vote consistently for Republicans in time of war: We rightly have no confidence in the Democrats to do what needs to be done to defend our country or to win a war, and today, as always, they are proving that this is again the case.

Spot-on post, Raven.

Posted by Seth at February 7, 2006 11:45 AM

Congress is GUTLESS...

All they are concerned with is *posturing* and getting re-elected...

This is what happens when PCness runs unchecked...

Once in a while you have to speak your mind, take a stand and cover your ground, and THAT is something I am thinking our leaders have forgotten how to do...

Posted by TexasFred at February 7, 2006 12:39 PM

I think our Congress has turned into a quivering, spineless mass of uber-liberalism and used the Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution according to their wishes over the last few decades. I also think that the President does need to act, and act quickly, but in conjunction with them - especially in times like these. And because times like these don't last forever I feel a lot better that he involved members of Congress and regularly reviewed the program and made adjustments to fit an evolving situation.

However, there are members of Congress who are actively trying to sabotage the very measures being taken to protect us.

I think George Bush acted responsibly and proactively and Chuck Schumer and his cronies can rant and rave all they want. They're not winning in the public opinion arena. All they're interested in is impeachment and regaining power and this last grasping at straws has made it all too apparent to everyone, except those viewing this situation through the lens of BDS. I shudder to think, with all they've whined, bitched and moaned about in regards to protecting our nation what would have happened if their posterboy, John Kerry, were in office.

Posted by Oyster at February 7, 2006 12:39 PM

I'm pretty disgusted with how Congress is handling this.
Other than a couple, not a one is listening to we the people. THIS is the one major issue I take a stand against the GOP with I have to say.

Posted by Raven at February 7, 2006 02:59 PM

"Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure."

I look forward to the day when we have two parties with America's best interests at heart again. I would love it, of course, if I could convince Democrats of my beliefs about small government, free markets, and the overriding likelihood that a traditional value contains an important piece of Western Civilization worth saving. But if we just borrow the sane Democrats for a few election cycles until they get they regain contact with reality, that will be fine too. I would far rather be arguing about "what is the proper amount of safety net" than "Are we going to be blown up."

Posted by Assistant Village Idiot at February 7, 2006 05:31 PM

Two comments I read today from a serious military analyst:

1) A high ranking official of DHS said that it is only a matter of time before a terrorist nuke goes off in a US city.

2) It is an Arab custom to ask for a truce before making a major attack. Bin Laden just asked for a truce.

I think we definitely need to keep up the intercepts!

I'm sure that when the next big attack happens and a whole lot of Americans die, the media and the gutless wonders of the left, who have hobbled our war efforts, will blame it all on Bush.


Posted by John Moore at February 7, 2006 09:16 PM

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