Sunday, July 09, 2006

even the republicans are getting worried

The New York Times today, perhaps in belated atonement for its absurd willingness to publish anything the de facto Administration wanted before the Iraq war began, today publishes another story about the Bushies' penchant for buggery I mean secrecy. Today, it is a warning from Congressman Peter Hoekstra to Bush charging that the Administration may have broken the law by not informing Congress of some secret intelligence programs. Hoekstra is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and of course is a Republican. Hoekstra also wrote in his letter that the Administration risks losing support among Congressional Republicans on intelligence questions.

Two thoughts pop to mind. One is, I wonder precisely what programs Hoekstra is alluding to? We already know that the Administration is monitoring financial transactions, listening to select phone calls, monitoring our email and records of what websites we visit, and accessing our library records. Oh, and declaring American citizens (not to mention foreigners) "enemy combatants" and arguing that they don't owe anybody a fair trial to detain them for ever. Not to mention TORTURING people. So what's left? Unless they've finally devised that mind-reading device...

Two, all I can say is that, if the Republicans in Congress are finally deciding that actually doing their jobs and serving as a check on the Cheney-Bush-Nixon cabal's power grab and shredding of the Constitution, it's about time.

I'd like to think this is a sign of Republicans in Congress taking their duties seriously. But frankly, I suspect it's more a case of covering their collective asses for the upcoming elections by slowly disassociating themselves from an unpopular, radical regime that any real change of heart.