House and Senate Judiciary Committees React to Illegal FBI Phone Snoop… with What?
It’s been three weeks now since the revelation that the FBI:
1. Broke the law,
2. Violated the constitution and
3. Lied in order to
4. Obtain Americans’ phone records
5. Without a warrant, in order to
6. Find and stop the source of embarrassing leaks to the media.
This is Watergate-level stuff we’re talking about here. It’s as if the zombie of J. Edgar Hoover were reanimated and put back at his desk. But this time around, nobody seems to care. Nobody has written about the scandal in the papers this month, even though the same FBI that broke the law on phone records now wants access to your web-surfing records. What will it take for the American media and the American people to be roused on this subject? The introduction of a dancing bear?
And what will it take for the House and Senate Judiciary committees with jurisdiction on the matter to take steps toward bringing the FBI to account? In the House, Judiciary Chairman John Conyers has issued a brief press release calling for “more to be done”, nothing more by his committee has been done. If there are to be any developments in Conyers’ committee, look for them to come out in this week’s hearing on “Sharing and Analyzing Information to Prevent Terrorism”, happening Wednesday at 10:00 am. There has been no witness list or hearing agenda released by the committee, but the declared subject matter makes it a highly appropriate venue.
Over in the Senate, Patrick Leahy‘s Judiciary Committee has done even less than its House counterpart. There are no hearings on the subject scheduled now or into the future. Instead of dealing with the unconstitutional and illegal seizure of Americans’ phone records by the FBI in order to ferret out whistleblowers, the Judiciary Committee will proceed apace with hearings on the nomination of Audrey G. Fleissig to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Missouri.