WE LIKE TO LOOK LIKE WE CARE ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION. In a mind-bendingly frustrating appearance yesterday on Fox News Sunday (transcript not yet available), the two leading figures of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chairman Patrick Leahy (Vt.) and ranking member Arlen Specter (Penn.), laid out the many constitutional transgressions of President George W. Bush, but promised no greater action than the investigation under way, at Leahy's request, by the inspector general of the Department of Justice (DoJ).
A mere two weeks ago, Leahy was rattling his saber, announcing that the White House was in contempt of Congress for not having complied with the subpoena issued by his committee in June, which demands that the White House turn over documents related to the illegal spy program the administration has conducted, without warrants, against Americans for the last several years. (Depending on how you defend legality, an illegal domestic spying program may be ongoing.) During Sunday's appearance, host Chris Wallace did not ask Leahy on whether he planned to follow through by beginning the process for charging the White House with contempt, nor did Leahy volunteer that he would. Leahy also declined to endorse the call made by four of his Senate colleagues for an independent counsel investigation of the many questionable actions of outgoing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
--Adele M. Stan