In case you haven’t seen the transcript of heard the actual speech, Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia has lambasted the president and his administration for its violations of the law and Constitution. I added the bold type in the following excerpt. I encourage you to read the entire speech. Senator Byrd, one of the Senate’s leading orators and Constitutional scholars, is, I think, exactly right.
“And the phrase, ‘war on terror,’ while catchy, certainly is a misnomer. Terror is a tactic used by all manner of violent organizations to achieve their goals. It has been around since time began, and will likely be with us on the last day of planet earth. We were attacked by Bin Laden and by his organization Al Qaeda. If anything, what we are engaged in should, more properly, be called, a war on the Al Qaeda network. But, that is too limiting for an Administration that loves power as much as this one. A war on the Al Qaeda network might conceivably be over some day. A war on the Al Qaeda network might have achievable, measurable objectives, and it would be less able to be used as a rationale for almost any government action. It would be harder to periodically traumatize and terrorize the U.S. public, thereby justifying a reason for stamping secret on far too many government programs and activities. Why hasn’t Congress been thoroughly briefed on the President’s secret eavesdropping program, or on other secret domestic monitoring programs run by the Pentagon or other government entities? Is it because keeping official secrets prevents annoying Congressional oversight? Revealing this program in its entirety to too many members of Congress could certainly have unmasked its probable illegality at a much earlier date, and may have allowed members of Congress to pry information out of the White House that the Judiciary Committee could not pry out of Attorney General Gonzales, who seems genuinely confused about whom he works for — the public or his old boss, the President.”