The Spectacle Blog

Re: NSA

By on 12.20.05 | 8:16AM

And while the Wall Street Journal helps get things right, George Will has joined the NYT's amen chorus, getting it most sincerely wrong.

Will's column in today's WaPo begins by charging the president with breaking the law and goes down hill from there at an ever-accelerating speed.

Will's worst point -- which makes me wonder which Washington he's been observing since 9-11 -- is that if the president wanted more power (carrying forward Will's comprehensively wrong assumption that the president needed more to do the domestic intel gathering) he could have asked Congress for it. And that the ever-compliant Congress would have obliged quickly. This is an argument that is, simply, insidious.

Congress has, since the passage of the PATRIOT Act, and to this day, been irresponsible in failing to execute its Constitutional functions. It leaks our most closely-held secrets, fails to act on essential matters such as the PATRIOT Act reauthorization, and when it does act, it forces through measures -- such as the McCain "al-Queda bill of rights" provision -- that hamper the war effort.

If Congress were responsible, and not entirely consumed with rabid liberal partisanship, perhaps the president could have done more on many issues. But because Congress is irresponsible, and because the president already had the power to do what he did, the NSA domestic intel program was established. And is working, no thanks to Congress.

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