Servant of the Secret Fire

Random thoughts on books and life in the reality-based community

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Location: New York, United States

The name I've chosen comes from "Lord of the Rings," when Gandalf faces down the Balrog in the Mines of Moria. My Hebrew name is Esther (which is related to the word for "hidden" or "secret") Serafina (which means "burning"). This seems appropriate because although I don't usually put myself forward, I do care very passionately about a lot of things. Maybe through these blogs I can share some of these passions, as well as less weighty ideas and opinions, with others.

Monday, February 06, 2006

More on the hearing

Biden (D): “This administration has made assertions in the past where their credibility has been questioned.” So we need to know what’s really going on, not what they say is going on. “Why limit eavesdropping to calls where one party is outside the US, if you’re serious about going after Al Qaeda?” Good question. Ha! “Is he refusing to do it for PR reasons?“

Kohl (D):
Gonzales: ”Congress can declare war“????? That makes it sound like it's OK for them to, but they don't have to. Later: Sounds like he’s saying they will hold onto any information that they get forever, even if it turns out they don’t have any foundation for suspicion. ”Think about the public reaction“ if he authorized the same program domestically. In other words, it is about PR.

DeWine (R):
More games ala Alito. ”Please state for the record that you’re not a fascist.“ Well, at least he admits that, even if Dubya’s within his rights, it’s better for him to come to Congress. What if Congress excluded these calls from FISA and provided for direct oversight? Interesting question, except that Dubya just ignores Congressional requests in the course of their oversight duties, so that would basically be giving him a blank check. And a lot of people think FISA is a rubber stamp!

Feinstein (D):
It’s too bad when she has to start out saying, we all support fighting terrorism. At least she brought up that speech in Buffalo. She's also asking if the authorization for the use of force means that Gonzales can lie to Congress if telling the truth would obstruct his "war on terror." Of course, if they think it does, it means nothing when Gonzales says no. She’s got some good questions but of course he’s not going to answer any of them. Of course, at least they serve to illustrate her point that this is a very slippery slope.

Sessions (R) isn’t even worth commenting on - he was the one who was in the hall during the break. But I found this from the Progressive Daily Beacon to be very interesting:
Also, not surprising, though not many American people will be made aware, Republican Senator Arlen Specter, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, immediately declared the Attorney General wouldn't be sworn in before giving testimony. As the Democratic Senators pointed out, Gonzales had been sworn in during his two previous appearances before the committee. Though, for the news channels, Gonzales not being sworn in wouldn't be important - the fact of the matter is that, last time Gonzales was questioned before the Senate, he lied.
Dang - I wanted to hear Feingold but they’re evidently going to lunch now - evidently they all can’t sit for more than an hour and a half without needing to pee or something.


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