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Frist threatens to re-structure Intel Committee to block NSA hearings.

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brainshrub Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:40 PM
Original message
Frist threatens to re-structure Intel Committee to block NSA hearings.
This is a very astute analysis of the latest Republican plan to block the NSA hearings and prevent accountability.

Bill Frist threatens to re-structure the Intelligence Committee in order to block NSA hearings

The Senate Intelligence Committee was created in 1976 and, from the beginning, it has been unique in its structure and operation. Due to the urgency of ensuring that our country has nonpartisan and non-politicized oversight over the Governments intelligence activities, the Intelligence Committee is structured so that -- unlike every other Senate Committee -- the majority is unable to dominate the Committees operation and agenda, and the minority has much greater powers than it does on any other Senate Committee.

With the March 7 vote looming on Sen. Rockefellers motion for the Committee to finally hold hearings to investigate the scope and nature of the Administrations NSA warrantless eavesdropping on American citizens -- and with several Committee Republicans indicating their intent to vote for hearings -- Majority Leader Bill Frist threatened the Committee yesterday and warned it not to hold any hearings.

Frist specifically threatened that if the Committee holds NSA hearings, he will fundamentally change the 30-year-old structure and operation of the Senate Intelligence Committee so as to make it like every other Committee, i.e., controlled and dominated by Republicans to advance and rubber-stamp the White Houses agenda rather than exercise meaningful and nonpartisan oversight.

<snip>

While Frists threat here is, in one sense, of a piece with those tactics, it is actually quite extraordinary and motivated by a particularly corrupt objective. The whole purpose of the Senate Intelligence Committee the only reason why it exists is to exercise oversight over controversial intelligence activities. Whatever else one might want to say about the NSA warrantless eavesdropping program, it is controversial on every front. There is no conceivable rationale for the Intelligence Committee not to hold hearings.


Entire article here:

http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2006/03/bill-frist-t...
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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. How much more evidence do we need that the Republicans put
party before country? Without a doubt, they are the most corrupt and treasonous crooks that have been foisted on this country. This little tactic needs maximum exposure and amplification.

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Panda1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. How much more proof do we need that he's insane?
And and asshole. Plus, Chimpy likes him.

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:51 PM
Response to Original message
2. The Repugs in the House tried a similar tactic to defend DeLay.
Edited on Sat Mar-04-06 05:52 PM by ProSense
I hope this ends the same way: with Bush and Cheney indicted.
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:58 PM
Response to Original message
3. Let's see.... gut legislative filibuster attempts per *nuclear option*,
destroy the Senate Intelligence Committee's power of critical oversight, lock out Democrats from committee meetings, hold votes open for hours to bribe members to vote with Republicans....

This is a very dark force trying to overrun our country.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 06:22 PM
Response to Original message
5. That would be the time for Reid to tie up the Senate again
If he has the technical tools to throw a monkey wrench into the entire Senate workings, doing so over how the Intelligence committee oversees America's security, not just a focus on the effort to thwart these hearings, would be an excellent issue to make a stand on.
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brainshrub Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Let's see if the Dems can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory again.
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Independent_Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 07:09 PM
Response to Original message
7. Okay Dems! Hit the motherfucker with all you got!
ABUSE OF POWER

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION

CHANGING THE RULES TO GET WHAT YOU WANT

THINKING THE LAW DOESN'T APPLY TO YOU

EXTREMIST

Come on Dems! I want to hear it!

:)
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 08:03 PM
Response to Original message
8. The only conceivable rationale for not holding hearings
is to protect Bush et al from impeachment. That's it. There is no other reason.
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caligirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 08:15 PM
Response to Original message
9. He got caught by the SEC and he thinks he can do that? dumbass
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brainshrub Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Why shouldn't he think can't do this?
It's not like corrupt Republicans are held accountable anymore. All you need is to have an "R" after your name and to occasionally kiss the butt of the BFEE... and you are a made man.

Laws are for the plebs.
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Dr Ron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 09:25 PM
Response to Original message
10. Coverage from The Democratic Daily
Frist Threatens Restructure of Intelligence Committee To Block NSA Wiretap Hearings

http://blog.thedemocraticdaily.com/?p=2131

Glenn Greenwald does some excellent reporting on Bill Frists attempts to prevent the Senate Intelligence Committee from investigating the NSA spying. Greenwald provides historical background in explaining that, Due to the urgency of ensuring that our country has nonpartisan and non-politicized oversight over the Governments intelligence activities, the Intelligence Committee is structured so that unlike every other Senate Committee the majority is unable to dominate the Committees operation and agenda, and the minority has much greater powers than it does on any other Senate Committee.

On March 3 Harry Reid released letters regarding the obstruction from the Republicans in conducting this investigation. Bill Frist responded with threats to restructure the Intelligence Committee along partisan grounds, which would make it yet another committee to rubber stamp White House misconduct. If we are unable to reach agreement wrote Frist, I believe we must consider other options to improve the Committees oversight capabilities, to include restructuring the Committee so that it is organized and operated like most Senate Committees.

Democrats need to take control of Congress not necessarily over ideology, but simply to provide for the essential oversight of the Executive Branch which the Republicans have failed to provide and which the founding fathers wisely attempted to guarantee. This is a goal which true conservatives, as opposed to the Bush Worshippers, should understand. Conservatives, when out of power, often warned about the power of unchecked government. Now is a time for them to show whether they truly stand for principle or their own accumulation of power.
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