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Profile in Courage: Olympia Snowe

 Last week Olympia Snowe said she would vote to investigate George Bush’s NSA wiretap crimes as part of the Senate Intelligence Committee. In December she said:

“Revelations that the U.S. government has conducted domestic electronic surveillance without express legal authority indeed warrants Congressional examination. I believe the Congress – as a coequal branch of government – must immediately and expeditiously review the use of this practice,” said Snowe.

Today she caved like a cheap suitcase.

Glenn Greenwald:

Nobody who has lived outside of a cave for the last five years could possibly be surprised by any of this. One of the reason we are at the point we’re at in our country — where we have a President who not only breaks the law but claims he has the right to do so, while the media barely finds any of it worthy of much attention — is because the Congress has completely abdicated its responsibilities at the altar of cult-like obedience to White House decrees. That’s just one of the many rotted roots in our government.

From Bloomberg:

"This committee is basically under control of the White House," Rockefeller told reporters after the two-hour meeting today in Washington. "It’s an unprecedented bout of political pressure from the White House."

Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts said any inquiry would be detrimental to national security.

"We should fight the enemy, not fight each other," Roberts, a Kansas Republican said. "The program is extremely important."

After negotiations with the Bush administration, the panel voted to create a new subcommittee whose seven members, out of the committee’s 15 total lawmakers, would receive full briefings on the program. Those briefings had been limited to just Rockefeller and Roberts.

Emptywheel (from the comments):

Interesting note: Roberts has announced the 4 members of SSCI that will be part of this "oversight" committee (and I use scarequotes advisedly). Roberts, Bond, Hatch, and DeWine.

So the three people who invented anti-Wilson conclusions for the SSCI, plus DeWine, who seems like he’s going for double wingnuttery or nothing in OH.

Georgia10 has a few words on the topic. Pat Roberts’ announcement is here. And emptywheel has more on GOP Eunuchs.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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