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Monday, March 13, 2006

Feingold to Introduce Censure Resolution at 4 pm ET



C-Span2 is reporting that Sen. Feingold will introduce his Censure Resolution on the floor of the Senate at 4:00 pm ET.

You can read the press release from Sen. Feingold's office here. And the text of the Censure Resolution here (PDF).

Anonymous Liberal, posting at Glenn Greenwald's blog Unclaimed Territory, has a review of the text of the Censure Resolution -- and it's well worth the read -- both the article itself and the excellent comments. For just a taste of the article, read this:
Senator Feingold's call for Congressional censure is an eminently reasonable response to the NSA scandal by any objective measure. Just eight years ago, Congressional Republicans impeached a president for lying about a private consensual affair in the context of a frivolous civil suit which was financed and litigated by the president's enemies. We are now faced with a president who is engaged in ongoing violations of a criminal statute intended to protect the constitutional rights of the American people. There is agreement that extends well beyond party lines that the President does not have the constitutional or statutory authority to do what he is doing. This administration has repeatedly ignored, misled, and marginalized Congress. If such facts do not warrant censure, it's hard to know what does.
Glenn also caught a WH lie from Scott McClellan that Reuters passed on to the public without them even noting the fact that it was a false statement.
This is not advocacy. This is just lying. No Democrats are advocating that we not listen to Al Qaeda communications, and Scott McClellan knows that. And no journalist ought to pass along this falsehood without pointing out that it is factually false.

The debate is not and has never been over whether we should eavesdrop on Al Qaeda. Everyone wants eavesdropping on Al Qaeda. The issue is whether the Bush Administration should eavesdrop in accordance with the law (with judicial oversight and approval), or in violation of the law (in secret and with no oversight, something that has been a criminal offense in this country since 1978). That is NSA Scandal 101, something that has been clearly established and beyond dispute from for months.
I don't know about all of you, but it is getting exhausting pointing out how all we want is for the media to do their jobs -- and then having them, repeatedly, show that they aren't really interested in doing their jobs. All of the exceptional journalists out there who work hard, dig in, and do their jobs have to cringe every time they see a story like this with no follow-up and no explanations.

Steno journalism is not acceptable -- and we'll take the time to point this out -- REPEATEDLY -- until lazy steno-reporters get the message. Repeating Republican talking points makes you a political shill. Asking the real, honest, follow-up questions and digging into the story fully...well, that can get you a Pulitzer.

Sen. Feingold, himself, posted a diary a bit ago on dKos regarding his call for censure and the upcoming introduction of the resolution -- which you can read here. My favorite bit:
The facts and the case for censure are clear. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, makes it a crime to wiretap American citizens without a court warrant - which is what the President has admitted doing. Before the program was revealed, he also misled Congress and the American people about the wiretapping that was being done. For example, at a 2004 speech in Buffalo, he said, "Any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires, a wiretap requires a court order." And at a 2004 speech in my home state of Wisconsin, he said that "the government can't move on wiretaps or roving wiretaps without getting a court order."

When the domestic spying story first broke, the President went from saying he wouldn't be able to talk about it, to suggesting there was no other way to wiretap terrorists, to implying that the FISA law is out of date. He went on to claim that sweeping inherent powers of the presidency or the authorization of force back in 2001 gave him such authority -- neither of which is legally or factually correct. While the President has cherry-picked information before, he cannot do the same with the laws of our land.

Censuring the President is not something that should be taken lightly. But the President has BROKEN the law and there needs to be action and accountability.
Absolutely spot on. The rest of us don't get to break the law whenever we feel like it, and the President is simply a man elected to serve in higher office for a few scant years -- he doesn't get a pass on obeying the law either. George Bush is not my king. And I'd expect my elected officials to understand that and stand up for the laws of our nation.

It's about time our elected officials showed they have some passing understanding that we fought the Revolutionary War in the cause of freedom and liberty for all Americans -- not just the ones on the fundraising speed dial list, and certainly not to prop up another King George so that we'd all have to live by his daily whims.

Please take a few minutes to let your Senators know how you feel about Sen. Feingold's Censure Resolution -- and let Jane and I know where your Senators stand on the issue. (And send an e-mail to Sen. Feingold and say thanks for having some guts -- the fact that it is so rare in Washington these days that we are all so pleased is worth a thank you all by itself.) Thanks so much for everyone's hard work on this -- it is much appreciated.

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