Sunday, February 05, 2006

Specter's comments today encouraging

Specter Says Surveillance Program Violated the Law - New York Times. Well, Senator Specter might just be up to doing his job and providing effective oversight after all. I think he's calculated that he's done the administration's bidding on the Supreme Court confirmations, even shepherding Elito through, and now, it's time to get to work. Some of his comments:
The program "is in flat violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act," said the chairman, Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who will open committee hearings on Monday.
How's that for an opener to the hearings? The Republican Chairman making such a comment cannot bode well for the administration. And that little used subpoena power of late while in the hands of Repubs:
Of Democratic calls to subpoena notes of administration deliberations about the legality of the program, Senator Specter said he would not immediately move to do so. But "if the necessity arises," he added, "I won't be timid."

Mr. Specter's strong language reflects sharp concerns among many in Congress - mainly Democrats, but also some Republicans - over the legality of the program, the administration's decision to circumvent the FISA court rather than ask Congress to change the law, and whether the administration kept Congress adequately informed.
Sounds foreboding on the eve of the hearings, and I like it...