Monday, March 20, 2006

An un-enthusiastic non-reply

I wrote letters to our Maryland Senators requesting they support Feingold's censure resolution. Today I received the following masterpiece of fence-sitting from the retiring Sen. Sarbanes:

Thank you for getting in touch with me to express your
views on S. Res. 398, a resolution to censure President Bush. I
appreciate the benefit of your comments on this important matter.

S. Res. 398 would censure President Bush for his actions
related to eavesdropping on communications of Americans, within
the United States, without obtaining the court orders required by
the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. The resolution
was introduced on March 13, 2006, and referred to the Senate
Committee on the Judiciary for review.

I certainly understand your concerns about the NSA
program, particularly as Congress has given the President authority
to obtain orders for such surveillance on an expedited basis - even
after the fact - from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
The NSA program appears to contradict long-standing restrictions
on domestic spying and subvert constitutional guarantees against
unwarranted invasions of privacy. Allowing government officials
to engage in domestic surveillance of U.S. citizens without proper
authorization undermines the very basis of a free society, and I
believe the NSA program must be fully investigated.

Although I am not a member of the Judiciary Committee,
you may be certain that I will keep your views in mind should this
resolution come before the full Senate for consideration. Again,
thank you for taking the time to contact my office.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further
matters of interest or concern to you.

In the future please visit my web site at
rather than
clicking reply.

With best regards,
Paul Sarbanes
United States Senator

Shorter Sarbanes: The Feingold Resolution to censure the President would censure the President. The President broke the law, which is serious. If it comes to the floor for a vote I'll think about it, but now I'm not taking a position.

Dear Paul: If you made a public commitment supporting Feingold now we'd have a much better chance of getting it to the floor for a vote. Jesus! You're not even up for re-election.

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