Impressions Of The Judiciary Committee Hearings on NSA Surveillance

Monday, February 06, 2006
The hearings closed close to 6:00 PM after going since 9:30 this morning. The Attorney General's good humor and low key demeanor, which he maintained throughout, impressed me. I think it interesting how such qualities generally disarm those who would try to create demons.

This will not have any effect on Kossites or others on the extreme left, but those citizens whose minds are not already made up will support this Attorney General and this President.

They just do not come across as Snidely whiplash types.

Washington Post transcripts:

Part I

Part II

Part III


Rick Ballard said...

I like the AG - he just seems a quiet, no nonsense professional.

Would my TV have been safe, had I watched, or did 'Scot's verdict' do something along his usual lines?

I don't care what the Dems say or do anymore but ole Arlen can raise the hair on the back of my neck with a single question.

RogerA said...

Would some of our esteemed colleagues on this board, or lurkers, or even god forfend, Mark, offer an opinion as to why the republicans are going off on this stuff?

I dont get it

AND--it gloat time: recall that I, moi, ole watash, BEFORE the playoffs started predicted the steelers and seahawks in the playoffs, and THEN much to Charlie's scorn, predicted the steelers by 10

regretably I didnt have the strength of my convictions to put down any coin of the realm on my predictions. (actually, the seahawks outmistaked the steelers--it was NOT a good game)

Seneca the Younger said...

Re: Steelers: phtfphththt.

Seneca the Younger said...

More germane to the current topic, I think you need to see this as an Executive-Legislative conflict, not a Republican-Democrat one. Specter is not, as I recall, a friend of Executive power.

vnjagvet said...

I think it is an old fashioned jurisdictional dispute. Senators have always been jealous of their prerogatives.

Specter's final comments were interesting. First he made it clear that he didn't agree with the Attorney General's legal conclusions, but reasonable people could differ. Second, (paraphrasing) he "hoped" that there would be appropriate continuing oversight by the Senate Intelligence Committee for these programs.

I will check when the transcript comes in, but if I've got the gist of his comment right, he may be backing off somewhat.

vnjagvet said...


Your comment came in before mine was posted. I agree with you.

ex-democrat said...

it may be an exec/leg conflict for the repubs, but its still a 'damage the repub prez' for the dems.

Knucklehead said...

I think Seneca's got it pegged correctly. There is the partisan divide but there is always also the executive vs. legislature divide.

This is a seperation of powers issue and the Senate is out to seperate the executive from some power.

Buddy Larsen said...

That's not a smirk, Mark. That's just the way people look to you when they're not one o' your favorites.

And "president-for-life" sounds intriguing--tell us more!

Buddy Larsen said...

Maybe this country needs a "People's Anti-Smirk Bureau", with a good no-nonsense Kommizar to put a stop to this smirking insurgency that seems to be breaking out in and around the senate chambers.

Buddy Larsen said...

So great to see this!

Durbin is just not a bright guy--and he's let slip a glimpse of his non-brightness.

RogerA said...

I think the Durbin interview with the powerline folks genuinely displays just how friggin dumb senators really are--prisoners of their staff and their morning talking points--I point with pride the pride of Washington State: Ms Murray as among the dumbest of the dumb.

Buddy Larsen said...

damn--we're worthless. let's cut our wrists. lead the way, mark!

RogerA said...

Mark--you are on a roll today!

Buddy Larsen said...

Rogera--why we're not as complex as Mark:

terrye said...

I agree this is about seperation of powers as well as it is about Democrats going after Bush, but you know what? This circus right here is why the president and the NSA went to work tracking these guys. If they had gone to Congress these blowhards would still have been bitching about it and like the Patriot Act it would be in limbo today. It may be anyway.

I heard Grassley ask the AG about criminal prosecution of the leakers. hmmmmmm.

Peter UK said...

"The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was passed in 1978, and has a forceful and blanket prohibition against any electronic surveillance without a court order. That law was signed by President Carter with a signing statement that that was the exclusive way for electronic surveillance."

President Carter,that just about says it all.