The Bush administration rejected a 2002 Senate proposal that would have made it easier for FBI agents to obtain surveillance warrants in terrorism cases, concluding that the system was working well and that it would likely be unconstitutional to lower the legal standard.
The proposed legislation by Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) would have allowed the FBI to obtain surveillance warrants for non-U.S. citizens if they had a "reasonable suspicion" they were connected to terrorism -- a lower standard than the "probable cause" requirement in the statute that governs the warrants.
But now, as Americablog says, the Bush administration's current argument in support of their domestic spying "program" directly contradicts their reasons for opposing the very same legislation back in 2002. That the 2002 legislation went "too far."
Does this administration really have any idea of what "too far" is? Hardly. They're so far gone, they've lost all perspective of what is constitutional. Or what it means to govern.
And to think, in 2002, while the dust was settling and the debris was being carried away from Ground Zero, Dubya and crew had pretty much had the spying program they wanted handed to them on a silver platter, and they rejected it.
Word 'round the campfire is that Blogger Glenn Greenwald from Unclaimed Territory was the one responsible for breaking the story.
The Administration rejected DeWine's 2002 amendment for two reasons:
- That FISA didn't really pose any challenge in obtaining the necessary warrants when needed.
- That the proposal itself was ... wait for it ... wait for it ... unconstitutional.
Of course, this is new development is very provocative. Could it very well lead us down the path of impeachment?
WaPo and the LA Times have picked up the story. Here's yet another opportunity for the SCLM to bust this story wide open. Let's see if that happens.