Actually it was just another time when W's team phonied up intelligence to terrify the Democrats into succumbing to his insane desires of "unitary executive" power.
The House site's September 20, 2007 article "HARMAN PROVIDES TESTIMONY ON FISA
TO HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE HEARING -- Lawmaker says White House wanted wedge issue more than good law" at
describes how Congress has to ascertain that W doesn't get to dismantle our civil rights under the guise of protecting us and states "Finally, we are learning that the TSP is only one of a number of surveillance programs out there.
Just recently, the Department of Homeland Security revealed it is standing up a new office whose task it is to focus intelligence satellites on America. Surely this committee should insist that, if these activities are conducted at all, they must be consistent with a legal and Constitutional framework which Congress rigorously oversees.
Make no mistake. Congress is being tested. And our options are not limited to the President's disingenuous choice of "give me carte blanche or coddle terrorists." There is a better way: enact responsible changes to FISA and preserve its "right" and "elegant" checks and balances.
The threats to the homeland are real, and we need the best tools to thwart them.
But threats to the rule of law are real, too. Both must be steadfastly opposed."
When you are writing reports for Congress you have to use a modicum of decorum.
The 'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' article for Sept. 24 2007 at
doesn't and he states "A travesty of administration terrorism, the startling charge from Congresswoman Jane Harman of California. "President Bush got the
temporary expansion of his spying powers last month by knowingly using, quote, "bogus intelligence" about a specific threat to the capitol.
In other words, they personally terrorized the House and Senate to get the powers they wanted."
Olbermann had this elaboration "Our third story on the COUNTDOWN, for two years this newscast has recorded the administration's willingness to try to terrify the public into voting Republican. It has chronicled the fears of the politicization of terror, fears originating even from the first Homeland Secretary Tom Ridge. But these charges from California Democrat Jane Harman are the most overt accusations yet of a government gone so wrong that it is using the terrorists' weapon of fear against its own people and against other legislators who will not go along with the program.
Congresswoman Harman made her charge at a forum on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, FISA, conducted in Washington by the Center For American Progress. She says that on August 2nd, hours before lawmakers were to leave for a month long recess, word of specific intelligence led to increased security around the Capitol. Republican Congressman Zach Wamp of Tennessee said at the time, quote, the leaders of the committees of jurisdiction have been briefed on threats to the Capitol."
And in urging Congress to give Mr. Bush the extra spying powers he wanted, Senator Trent Lott said on that date that, quote, "the disaster could be on our doorstep." Congresswoman Harman said the unreliability of the so-called intelligence about the attack on the Capitol before the 9/11 anniversary was only made clear the very day lawmakers approved the temporary expansion of Bush's spy powers. "That specific intelligence claim, it turned out, was bogus," said Representative Harman. "The intelligence agencies knew that."
She added that the administration was guilty of a "Rovian strategy of using terrorism as a wedge political issue." Talk about the nexus of politics and terror. At the same forum with Congresswoman Harman was Bruce Fein, former
associate deputy attorney general under Ronald Reagan, now chairman of the American Freedom Agenda."
You know what Fein's political persuasion is as he served under the GOP Prince of Demagoguery, Teflon Ronnie.
Olbermann used an open-ended questioning technique to elicit more information as he states "I gather you share the Congresswoman's astonishment, anger, lament, and mine as well?"
To which Fein responds "Yes, but there's something that you've neglected, Keith, and that's the president continues to insist, as recently as my visit to the
Department of Justice last week, that he can spy on Americans without warrants irrespective of what a statute says, that he has constitutional authority to override whatever Congress may do, so that all of this maneuvering over the statute really is just a charade."
No matter what the legislation is W can just jot off a "signing statement" and
do whatever he wants as the AUMF gives him "unitary executive" power.