the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

February 23, 2006

How the Port Deal Relates to the NSA Scandal


There are several political blogs I read regularly that I haven’t added to the blog roll here because they don’t fit under the heading “liberal blogs” (I guess I should reorganize). The most recent one I’ve found is Unclaimed Territory by Glenn Greenwald. It would be particularly bad to list Greenwald as a liberal blogger because one of his recent themes has been the way Bush supporters label anyone disagreeing with Bush as “liberal”.

The controversy over the port deal has many interesting facets, but Greenwald points out one that ties it together with the issue of illegal spying by the NSA (an issue that’s probably much more important) and exposes a glaring contradiction in the positions of most Republicans in Congress:

It is really quite astounding to watch Congressional Republicans fall all over themselves advocating legislation, on the grounds of national security, to force the President to reverse his decision about who is going to operate our ports. Many of these same Republicans have been defending Bush’s violations of FISA on the ground that Congress lacks constitutional authority to restrict or regulate the President’s Article II power to act unilaterally with regard to matters of national security.

In a followup post he suggests that this contradiction opens up the perfect opportunity to pressure Congress on illegal spying:

The principal argument which has been invoked by the President’s apologists for suppressing investigations — namely, that we should blindly trust the President on national security matters and that Congress has no business investigating the President’s decisions concerning the “war on terror”– is entirely obviated by the port controversy. In response to demands for an NSA investigation, it will now ring intuitively false for any Republican Senator to claim that Congress has no role to play, or that the Administration should be trusted with no oversight, when it comes to making decisions about how to defend the nation.

I’m going to continue reading Greenwald regularly, and I recommend you do too.


DCDL is a blog by Washington, DC-area members of Drinking Liberally. Opinions expressed are the writers’, not those of Drinking Liberally, which provides no funding or other support for this blog.

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