<center><h1><font color=red>Crocodile Tears</font></h1></center> After the non-event that was Alberto Gonzalez's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the White House has been doing its best to bury the whole issue. But, like a rotting corpse buried in the basement, it keeps coming back to haunt them. <a href=http://www.wilson.house.gov/NewsAction.asp?FormMode=Releases&ID=1175>Heather Wilson (R-NM)</a>, issued a statement today expressing her reservations and concerns regarding the legality of Dubbyuh's domestic spying program. SHe also stated that it was high time for the Administration to fully brief House and Senate intelligence committees on the program. Juxtapose this with Dick Vader's...er...Cheney's grotesque mockery of the Constitution insistence on unlimited presidential power on <a href=http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/white_house/jan-june06/cheney_02-07.html>"The News Hour with Jim Leher"</a>. Here, Cheney essentially dismissed the whole of Congress as being, not only irrelevant, but also as a threat to national security. This being the case then, members of Congress should simply pack their bags and go home. Our Maximum Presidente will see to everything. Given that the Bush administration hasn't much credibility, on the streets or anywhere else for that matter, we should take with a grain of salt any statements made by its members regarding the honourable intentions behind the domestic spying program. Lacking any outside oversight, of any kind, the insistence by Alberto Gonzalez, and others, that the intercepts are "narrowly targeted" is utterly meaningless. Couple that with the flimsy grasp that Administration spokes-persons have on the Constitution and they have even shakier grounds on which to build their house of cards. In his <a href=http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001883620>January 23rd appearance</a> before the National Press Club, General Michael Hayden (deputy director of National Intelligence with the Office of National Intelligence) displayed a remarkable degree of ignorance regarding Fourth Amendment protections. The Fourth Amendment clearly states: <blockquote>"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and <b>no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause</b>, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."</blockquote> General Hayden stated: <blockquote>"...it is a reasonableness standard in the Fourth Amendment. And so what you've raised to me -- and I'm not a lawyer, and don't want to become one -- what you've raised to me is, in terms of quoting the Fourth Amendment, is an issue of the Constitution. The constitutional standard is "reasonable." And we believe -- I am convinced that we are lawful because what it is we're doing is reasonable."</blockquote> Ahhh well, The Constitution is just a "...goddamned piece of paper..." anyways. It seems to me, though, that the concerns raised by some Republican lawmakers ring hollow. Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), among others, has often voiced his concern over Dubbyuh's domestic spying program. Yet at Monday's hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee he voted, along with the rest of the Republicans on the committee, to allow Alberto Gonzalez to give his testimony without being sworn in. Were they really that afraid AG Gonzalez would perjure himself? It seems so. After all, he lied at his confirmation hearing about the "hypothetical" issue of illegal domestic spying by the president. Indeed, the concerns of some Republican lawmakers regarding this matter are simply window dressing. They have forgotten that their first duty lies, not with their party or even the president. Their first duty lies with the Constitution, which their oath of office require they uphold "...against all enemies, both foreign and domestic...". They weep copious crocodile tears as they rend the Constitution to shreds.