I was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator and am now a journalist. I am the author of three New York Times bestselling books -- "How Would a Patriot Act" (a critique of Bush executive power theories), "Tragic Legacy" (documenting the Bush legacy), and With Liberty and Justice for Some (critiquing America's two-tiered justice system and the collapse of the rule of law for its political and financial elites). My fifth book - No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the US Surveillance State - will be released on April 29, 2014 by Holt/Metropolitan.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

NSA scandal polling & other matters

I have a new post up at Crooks & Liars regarding the latest Pew poll on the NSA scandal.

Also, the Republicans today found a very substantive argument in favor of Alito's confirmation, which they promptly planted on Drudge: the Democrats were so mean in their attacks that they made Alito's wife cry.

The Democrats on the Judiciary Committee are trying, sort of. But it is not the most talented roster around, to put it mildly. Specter has said that he plans to hold hearings on the NSA scandal in late January or early Feburary, but the Democrats should do whatever they can do in order to get those hearings away -- far away -- from the Judiciary Committee. It is not a good line-up for the Democrats, either in absolute terms or as compared to the Republicans on that Committee, who aren't exactly a Dream Team either, but they work much more in tandem and are much more aggressive.

Isn't it possible to set up some sort of newly comprised House-Senate Joint Investigative Committee similar to what we had for Iran-Contra, and then get an Arthur Liman-like special counsel to viciously grill every witness and demonstrate to the country how clear the law-breaking here is? As diligent as I'm sure Pat Leahy and Herb Kohl will be on these issues, they are not exactly skillful cross-examiners. They are far more likely to induce sleep than damaging admissions.

The NSA issue is way too serious to leave in their well-intentioned but pedestrian hands.

My Ecosystem Details