Russ Fiengold: Giant Among Men

This story has been hanging around all day and I've been waiting to have some hard facts to point at while I discuss Russ Fiengold's intent to introduce a bill to Censure the President.

Those facts haven't really been coming so instead I will point you towards what Senator Feingold had to say about the matter.

Today I will introduce a Senate resolution censuring the President.

The facts and the case for censure are clear. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, makes it a crime to wiretap American citizens without a court warrant - which is what the President has admitted doing. Before the program was revealed, he also misled Congress and the American people about the wiretapping that was being done. For example, at a 2004 speech in Buffalo, he said, "Any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires, a wiretap requires a court order." And at a 2004 speech in my home state of Wisconsin, he said that "the government can't move on wiretaps or roving wiretaps without getting a court order."

When the domestic spying story first broke, the President went from saying he wouldn't be able to talk about it, to suggesting there was no other way to wiretap terrorists, to implying that the FISA law is out of date. He went on to claim that sweeping inherent powers of the presidency or the authorization of force back in 2001 gave him such authority -- neither of which is legally or factually correct. While the President has cherry-picked information before, he cannot do the same with the laws of our land.

Censuring the President is not something that should be taken lightly. But the President has BROKEN the law and there needs to be action and accountability.
This is the legislative equivalent of the Charge of the Light Brigade. I can't imagine that it will succeed. At least not without some new disclosure. But perhaps its should only be seen as a symbolic gesture. It does put Senator Russ Feingold on the very top of my list of people I would rush to vote for in 2008.

Go read his whole statement.

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