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I’m serving up some Loreena McKinnett, because it is Friday and I can.  Anyone else want to share a song in the comments, please do…

BREAKING:  Get out yer popcorn.  Karl Rove and Scott Jennings just got added as witnesses to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for next Thursday at 10 am ET.  (H/T to reader Helen for the spot.)

Jon Mandle at Crooked Timber has an interesting set of choices for the next administration regarding the illegal NSA domestic spying program(s), in all its phases and guises:

Assume a new Democratic President is inaugurated on January 20, 2009. Focusing on the illegal wire-tap program(s) (as opposed to the other cover-ups), which of the following is most likely:

a. the illegal wire-tap program(s) will be dismantled and all evidence of them destroyed by the time the new administration takes office;
b. they will still be up and running, and the new administration will quietly continue them;
c. the new administration will quietly stop them;
d. the new administration will say that they are stopping them, but actually continue them;
e. the new administration will make a big show about stopping them (and actually do so);
f. the new administration will make a big show about stopping them and move to prosecute members of the previous administration for violating the law.

I can’t believe a. is a viable option, so how would a Democratic administration handle such an illegal inheritance? Is there a significant difference among the candidates? (Maybe I should have made a you-tube video asking this.)

In case anyone is wondering, I’m a big fan of option (f), should the evidence and facts point to criminal behavior.  And I would absolutely love to know what each and every Presidential candidate thinks about this issue — and how the rule of law should be balanced against national security interests.  Because that balancing test for the Bush Administration has come out in favor of abject terror and Big Brotherism every time over Constitutional liberty interests.  And the fact that it has led to more Pizza Hut sales than actual prosecutions is a sign of its real world value versus using it as a means of propagandizing fear to the masses until it became a political liability upon exposure.

The wholesale disregard of the rule of law, the end-run of the FISA laws, the flipping of the finger at Congressional and Judicial safeguards and oversight…every last bit of illegal behavior on this should be exposed.  Because John Poindexter and his obsession with spying on us all should never again pop up in another administration. 

If ever a civil liberties sucking vampire of a free-for-all, unaccountable program needed a stake through its illegal heart, it is this one.  And that is a message that every Democratic candidate needs to hear from each and every one of us.  Loud and clear.

Here’s a message for you, political candidates who kowtow to party and special interests:  Put your nation first.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com