Deny. Attack. Condemn. Obfuscate. Stonewall. Grudgingly Appear to Concede…

Those are six of the standard steps in the White House six step response to just about everything from the 9-11 Commission to creating a Homeland Security Department to crafting virtually all legislation (except for tax cuts for the super-rich, on which the White House never, ever concedes, grudgingly or otherwise) to the current NSA surveillance scandal.
As WaPo reports, the White House has grudgingly appeared to concede to Congressional oversight, by agreeing to brief the House and Senate intelligence committees on details of “the program”. Of course, everything these committees does is… a secret… and they are stacked by partisan control of the respective Houses anyway (the intelligence committee in the senate less so, but GOP Chairman Pat Roberts holds more cards than he should… while still not necessarily playing with a full deck.)
So, needless to say… I’m not satisfied. (But I wouldn’t be, of course.) The fact is, Al Qaeda knows bloody well that the United States Governement is trying to monitor its letters and telephone calls, financial transactions, e-mails, smoke signals, sign language and carrier pigeon traffic.
We’d all love to believe that the President limited “the program” to monitoring of calls from Al Qaeda members itself… but we know (for sure) that “the program” was bigger than this, and involved American citizens most of whom had nothing whatever to do with Al Qaeda. And all of it… without a warrant request (even ex post facto, expressly allowed by law!) The “problem” is that there was an iddy bitty law set up after Watergatethe Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act— deliberate violation of which is evidently… against the law (and I understand, might be some kind of crime.) That said… the President and especially the Vice-President seem to be hellbent on telling us they have committed a violation of the law… maybe a crime… as Senator Russell Feingold recently told the Senate… hardly something to applaud (this means you, Lieberman). (Links via the great Talkleft blog.)
So… I don’t really think a Congressional briefing is good enough, thanks.
I think a Special Prosecutor is called for. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is in this up to his smarmy little neck, having been an integral player in developing the (clearly and unquestionably) illegal policy (the Bush Administration actually makes me think fondly of John Ashcroft… and for that I, hope its remaining members rot in a special place in hell) . Don’t get me wrong; FISA wasn’t the law before 1978. It may well be a stupid law. It may well be a counterproductive law. But it’s the God damned law of the United States of America, and when the chief law enforcement officers of the United States of America think they can violate the God damned law of the United States, they should be investigated, and if in fact guilty, impeached, tried, convicted, removed from office, and incarcerated.
I’m sure this post will make me very popular with our new NSA minders, insofar as the new Governmental data-mining offensive is to troll… blogs. (again, via Talkleft.)