Much as I have been enjoying myself this evening watching the latest installment of the current left/right blogger food fight (here and esp. here for history), it appears play time is over. The Bush Administration has killed the Justice Department’s investigation into its illegal NSA wiretaps by refusing to grant the attorneys security clearance:
The inquiry headed by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, or OPR, sent a fax to Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., on Wednesday saying they were closing their inquiry because without clearance their lawyers cannot examine Justice lawyers’ role in the program.“We have been unable to make any meaningful progress in our investigation because OPR has been denied security clearances for access to information about the NSA program,” OPR counsel H. Marshall Jarrett wrote to Hinchey.
It’s right in line with what they did last week — finally agreeing to Nancy Pelosi’s request to draw up a list of the members of Congress who were briefed on the program, and then classifying it so she couldn’t see it. It was the childish move of a petulant, power-mad emotional 8 year-old.
The Democrats seem to want some kind of process to happen before they approve Feingold’s censure plan. It’s hard to imagine anyone still needs proof that this President has willfully, deliberately and consistently broken the law, but if that’s the case, then how about falling in behind Al Gore’s plan (which happily includes a provision for filibustering any laws that try to retroactively legalize the administration’s previous lawlessness).
Someone? Anyone? This "don’t rock the boat" November election strategy while the public trust is eroded and the country goes to hell is curiously not working for me.
Update: Atrios tells us that Joe Klein says there’s no need to worry, it’s all perfectly okay. Whew. Now I can relax. Of course this is the same Joe Klein who said "People like me who favor this [NSA wiretapping] program don’t yet know enough about it yet. Those opposed to it know even less — and certainly less than I do," which was the winning quote in the Late Nite FDL Joe Klein Stupidest Quote of All Time contest. So maybe not.
(graphic by Dark Black)