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Reply #12: But is Schumer watching what Keisler is doing at DOJ?? [View All]

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-19-07 11:37 AM
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12. But is Schumer watching what Keisler is doing at DOJ??
Edited on Wed Sep-19-07 11:40 AM by seafan
There is no doubt that Keisler is over there greasing the legal language to protect AT&T and other telecoms from any liability for illegal wiretapping! IMHO, while Chuck Schumer is wasting time cutting deals to obtain subpoenaed documents as a way to tie up the nomination of Mukasey, Keisler is now in charge at DOJ, hollowing out what is left of our protections from illegal wiretapping. I don't have a good feeling about what Schumer is doing, because I fear he is not seeing the danger of the Keisler move.

This development really has me worried.

According to emptywheel today at TheNextHurrah, Bush's sleight of hand, replacing Clement with Keisler as Acting Attorney General, was done without any input from DOJ.

The article goes on to suggest that Chuck Schumer (whose pick Mukasey was, effectively) is brokering some kind of deal with the White House.

Schumer, who has been in touch with Fielding, stopped short of saying he is brokering a deal but said: "I made it clear to the judge how important it was to solve this. I'm trying to make sure everything works out." Schumer said he talked with Mukasey about habeas corpus issues, wiretapping, "the unitary theory of the executive," and problems in the civil rights division. Mukasey promised he will return with answers.

Though I think Schumer is pretty shrewd, for a Democrat, I also worry that his attempt to leverage the Gonzales replacement could backfire. I expended on my earlier thoughts on the Keisler headfake in my Guardian column.

By appointing Keisler acting attorney general, Bush has given the slot of chief law enforcement officer in the land to a longtime ally of AT&T, a telecommuncations giant whose decisions about cooperating (or not) with the government could have tremendous impact on the administration's surveillance policies.

The longer Democrats stall Mukasey's approval in the Senate, the longer they'll leave the telecommunications fox in charge of the privacy hen house. Democrats can hold out for the documents they've been demanding for years; if they do so, they may finally learn what it was about the warrantless wiretap program that so greatly disturbed former administration officials like James Comey. But in doing so they leave allies of the telecommunications industry in remarkable position to influence the administration's ongoing agenda - and perhaps to institutionalize the existing surveillance program.

Like I said, Schumer is pretty smart. I just hope he knows what he's doing. And I hope the brokered deal doesn't replace an investigation.

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