War on censorship

By Matt Donato
March 16, 2006

Since president Andrew Jackson, no other leader of America has been censured besides George W. Bush. Democratic Senator Russ Feingold announced that Monday, March 13, 2006, he will call for a rare presidential censure over Bush’s domestic wiretapping program. Feingold is taking these actions because he does not believe that simply revising the law, that George W. Bush passed shortly after the tragedy of September 11, 2001, is enough.

Bush authorized the National Security Agency in order to eavesdrop on Americans suspected of being in contact with Al Qaeda members overseas. The president failed, however, to obtain a warrant first from the FISA court. In 1978, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was passed in order to prevent covert surveillance. Bush’s program is in clear violation of the FISA and the American public’s privacy. Democrats like Feingold believe that the president is taking advantage of his power and America’s current position with foreign affairs in Iraq.

“What I’m interested in is my colleagues acknowledging that we as a Congress have to stand up to a president who acts as if the Bill of Rights and the Constitution were repealed on September 11,” said Feingold. “We didn’t enact martial law on September 11. We still have a constitutional form of government, and if the Congress of the United States does not stand up for that authority at this point, it will be an historic failure of our system of government.”

Is it legitimate to criticize George W. Bush in times of war or at all? Of course it is. When the president makes choices that affect the private lives of Americans on a daily basis, Congress should have the right to assess the validity and productivity of those choices. “I think we ought to welcome some checks and balances on the president,” said Michigan Senator, Carl Levin, ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee and supporter of Feingold’s proposal.

Wiretapping is entirely appropriate under certain circumstances in which terrorism is a concern and Americans are being threatened. The debate of how to handle privacy issues becomes disquieting during times of terrorization. When the president creates a law, though, that is in desecration of his oath to his office, there is an enormous threat troubling America.

Posted to the web by Shane Evans

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Matt Donato

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