Now this is what I call an opening statement (via the Speaker’s Blog):
“We must not forget the lessons of history. Both the Fourth Amendment and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act were responses to abuses by government officials who thought they were above the law. We all agree that we want to protect our national security and that foreign intelligence gathering is fundamentally different from domestic surveillance. However, we should also agree that the power to invade people’s privacy must not be exercised unchecked. As we consider how to fix the Protect America Act, we must restore the fundamental freedoms that have been lost because of our recklessness. We must focus surveillance on terrorist activity and provide meaningful court review to protect the rights of Americans who will be spied on in our country. We must not trust this or any other administration to police itself. We must act now to restore much-needed checks and balances into this damaged law. We must restore respect for our Constitution that this Administration clearly does not care about.” (emphasis mine)
Excellent work from Rep. Nadler today in the House Judiciary Hearing on warrantless surveillance (which is still going on and being broadcast on C-Span3). In case you missed it, he is one of our Blue America 2008 candidates — and you can support his progressive PAC with a contribution on our ActBlue page. Also, don’t miss footage of Chairman Conyers asking Mr. McConnell how many Americans have been wiretapped without a warrant. (YouTube) (More from the Speaker’s Blog — they are updating as the hearing goes along.)
Also, this just hit the newswires (via WaPo):
Howard J. Krongard, the State Department’s inspector general, has repeatedly thwarted investigations and censored reports that might prove politically embarrassing to the Bush administration, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform charged today in a 13-page letter.
The letter, signed by committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) and released by the committee today, said the allegations were based on the testimony of seven current and former officials on Krongard’s staff, including two former senior officials who allowed their names to be used, and private e-mail exchanges obtained by the committee. The letter said the allegations were not limited to a single unit or project, but concerned all three major divisions of Krongard’s office — investigations, audits and inspections. (emphasis mine)
It is hitting the fan all over the Beltway today, kids. While I’m at it, please do keep those calls going on Habeas Restoration. And thank you so much for all the hard work.