When the Republicans lost their iron grip on all 3 branches of government, losing to the Democrats in both in the House and the Senate, many people sat around trying to figure out why. Was it the Iraq War? The fun & exciting sex scandals? The government’s role in warantless wiretapping, “torture”, and other dubious actions?
Congress took on the mission to prove themselves worthy of the seats they sat in, and started putting pressure against the war, promised to clean up the scandals, and started inquiring about some of those questionable activities. They put Gonzales on the stand and grilled him on the legality and constitutionality of things like the warrantless wiretapping. Congress expressed concern about how the Bush administration was administering a secretive program to wiretap people phones without oversight, as established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
These concerns were not really about the existence of the wiretapping, which has always happened, just that they’re not being approved by the proper authorities. The fact that they’ve gone this far to avoid judicial oversight is troubling, because the process was a breeze anyways. The court is already held secret from the public, and there can even be surveillance without a warrant as long as its reported within 72 hours. There is no delay to worry about. Even
then, from the program’s inception in 1978 at least until 2005, there have been four rejections out of 20,806 approved warrant requests. That’s .019% of all requests that were outright rejected.
In response to this concern over the legality of the program, the Democrat controlled congress approved of Bush’s ability to conduct these wiretaps without even this small piece of oversight. And even goes so far as to make it easier to get information from telephone companies, who before had occasionally resisted!
So…good job Democrats!