(Photo Credit: Doug Mills/The New York Times)
This rare praise of Sen. Hatch is due to his voting for oversight and the rule of law. (and praise to the AP, which finally juxtaposed spin with truth)
The Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney's office Wednesday for documents relating to President Bush's controversial eavesdropping program that operated warrant-free for five years.
"We're aware of the committee's action and will respond appropriately," White House spokesman Tony Fratto said. "It's unfortunate that congressional Democrats continue to choose the route of confrontation."
In fact, the Judiciary Committee's three most senior Republicans - Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, former chairman Orrin Hatch of Utah and Chuck Grassley of Iowa - sided with Democrats on the 13-3 vote last week to give Leahy the power to issue the subpoenas.
This is an interesting turn of events since Orin used to be his usual GOP cheerleader self on the issue of Bush's law-breaking wiretaps. Take it from Glen Greenwald, the blogosphere's resident expert on FISA.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Orrin Hatch spent the first two minutes of his time "questioning" Gonzales by lauding Gonzales' extreme integrity and diligence during this Grave and Epic War on Terrorism that America faces, explaining that everything they've done is critical to protecting us and describing the time in which Gonzales is Attorney General as one of the most difficult and important in history -- Hatch emphasized that he means not only U.S. history, but in the history of the whole, wide world. That is really what he said. He did not ask one question about anything the DOJ is doing with regard to this Most Important Matter Ever.
Hatch then spent the rest of his time (all 6 minutes) demanding that Gonzales and the Justice Department devote much more of its resources and attention -- including FBI agents, other law-enforcement resources and a new task force -- to enforcing anti-obscenity laws against people in the U.S. who produce pornography, particularly those who sell it over the Internet, and urged that whole new laws be created to criminalize Internet pornography. [...]
Or, to put it another way, the Terrorists pose such a grave danger to our Republic that it is the most threatening and important time Ever, justifying whole new expansions of government power and total government secrecy in order to protect us and to win this War because the Terrorists want to kill us all, and our law enforcement resources should therefore be poured into imprisoning people who make adult films and putting an end to pornography. That's what Orrin Hatch said today.
Additionally, this subpoena also has the benefit of having Dick "Forth Branch" Cheney seek to avoid the document request by again claiming he IS the executive branch. Don't worry though, he won't comply with any executive order that would require him to share information or power with any agency, office, or person.
(Photo Credit: AP/Eric Gay)