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Senate Judiciary Committee

Monday, February 06, 2006
As strange as it seems, I really enjoy listening to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Today I was listening on NPR as they were grilling Attorney General Alberto Gonzales about the President's domestic spying program/terrorist surveillance program. (Pick one.)

I enjoy listening to them for several reasons, but the biggest reason is that they're a bunch of smart people. Usually they're quite divided on an issue; when they hold hearings there's the side that asks the friendly, affirming, softball questions and there's the side that asks the sometimes antagonistic hardball questions. Despite the agenda, though, each side usually has a good point.

In this case I really enjoyed what Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass) had to say. His point about this NSA surveillance was this: in 1976 the President and the Attorney General has some concerns during the cold war; they brought what they wanted to do to several outside authorities and ended up with FISA. In this case, though, the President and Attorney General asked only opinions from "inside" sources (sources within the administration) and therefore probably only got the answer they were looking for. Senator Kennedy basically said, "Since there was a question of legality, wouldn't it have been better to NOT take the chance?"

It's a good point. These things are fun to listen to.


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