The Lady Speaks

John Dean to Testify at Censure Hearing

John Dean, Richard Nixon's White House Counsel, is expected to testify at the censure hearings today. Dean spent four months in prison for his part in the Watergate scandal.

Watergate, for those who've lived under rocks for the past 30-odd years, refers to the break-in of the Watergate Hotel, which exposed secret, illegal wiretapping authorized by a Republican President.

Nixon was accused of using the wiretaps to spy on enemies of his administration, under the guise of 'protecting national security'. Nixon also claimed inherent wartime powers under Article II of the Constitution.

From the AP:

The title of Dean’s 2004 book, “Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush,” made his view of the administration clear even before the wiretapping program became public.

After The New York Times revealed the program in December, Dean wrote that “Bush may have outdone Nixon” and be worthy not just of censure but impeachment.

“Nixon’s illegal surveillance was limited; Bush’s, it is developing, may be extraordinarily broad in scope,” Dean wrote in a column for FindLaw.com in December.

[snip] 

Dean was summoned to the hearing by Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., the author of a resolution to censure, or officially scold, Bush. The measure would condemn Bush’s “unlawful authorization of wiretaps of Americans within the United States without obtaining the court orders required” by the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Republicans planned ways to mock the censure effort as a partisan stunt.

“This resolution puts Senate Democrats in the unfortunate position of looking like they are not serious about the war on terror, while the president is doing everything possible within the law to protect the American people,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

Sen. Cornyn, I don't expect you to actually understand this, but the President has broken the law. He has violated the Constitution. He has said as much, and said he will continue breaking the law and ignoring the Constitution of the United States. 

What good does it do to continue to fight the terrorists who 'hate our freedoms,' if the President and his party plan on circumventing the very document that gives us our freedoms?

Privately, Democrats in the House and Senate have said that embracing a censure resolution before the facts are known would damage their credibility this election year.

For his part, Feingold has accused those Democrats who have not embraced his proposal of cowering.

Feingold isn't the only one accusing Democrats of being spineless, cowering jellyfish. The American people are also.  Feingold has created a perfect Catch-22 for Democratic senators, telling them, "Put up, or shut up."

Do they take a stand and say the President broke the law? Or do they continue playing footsie with a scandal-ridden, Republican-dominated Congress? 

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March 31, 2006 - Posted by | Bush, Congress, Constitution, Democrats, Government, Law, Politics

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