Senator Leahy has expressed his inclination to support Senator Feingold’s move to censure President Bush over the NSA intercept program. Leahy must have been absent from law school the day they taught law. President Bush’s decision is supported by all (of the admittedly small number of) court decisions on the issue. Leahy did not explain how, under these circumstances, censure could possibly be justified. Instead, he proclaimed that his personal view that the program is illegal “will be history’s verdict.” Now there’s an argument stopper.
In addition to “history,” Leahy relied on the verdict of felon John Dean. But, as the Washington Times reports, Senator Hatch resurrected an article Dean wrote five days after the September 11 attacks in which he argued that “the president does not need congressional authority to respond.” The Constitution, Dean argued in a FindLaw article, “does not put the Congress in charge of counterterrorism, which is an executive function.” Dean always did have trouble keeping his story straight.
Senator Cornyn suggested that Dean’s testimony might be part of an effort to sell a book Dean has coming out. Dean did not discredit this view when (again according to the Times) he pulled aside two photographers who were snapping pictures of him and told them he needed a picture of himself for his forthcoming book’s dust jacket.