As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ooooh, Secret!

So Republicans want the House to enter into a secret session to discuss the FISA bill, and there's a pretty entertaining debate on the House floor about this right now. My favorite part was when Dan Lungren (R-CA) said that the classified documents that the Intelligence and Judiciary Committee have seen would not be able to be discussed in that secret session. Which makes you wonder if the secret session is just for a big pinochle game or something.

Of course, there's hypocrisy here, as just a few weeks back the Minority Leader called a proposed secret session by the Democrats a "stalling tactic." But I think we can all figure out the point of the secret session. It's to make sure every newspaper and broadcast outlet in the country reports on a "secret session," which alludes to all kinds of secret and scary information that the Congress must act upon, and the Democrats' intransigence on giving phone companies amnesty is making the country less safe. That's pretty much it. It's the Parliamentary procedural version of a "24" episode. Similar to the President's version of a "24" episode in whiny-ass-titty-baby speech form:

The bipartisan House and Senate intelligence and judiciary committees have already held numerous oversight hearings on the government's intelligence activities. It seems that House leaders are more interested in investigating our intelligence professionals than in giving them the tools they need to protect us. Congress should stop playing politics with the past and focus on helping us prevent terrorist attacks in the future.

Members of the House should not be deceived into thinking that voting for this unacceptable legislation would somehow move the process along. Voting for this bill does not move the process along. Instead, voting for this bill would make our country less safe because it would move us further away from passing the good bipartisan Senate bill that is needed to protect America.

As the Speaker of the House said, "The President is wrong and he knows it." And there remains no downside to opposing him. Not even in "secret."

... Rep David Scott (D-GA) just wondered whether or not this session is a political ploy, so that Republican members can run to the press after tomorrow's FISA vote (which does not have retroactive immunity) and say "They voted against it even though we had a secret meeting!" Ya think? Minority Whip Roy Blunt just admitted that the relevant committees had access to all the information that they will offer. Still, it's in SECRET!!! (Please add your own Count Floyd from SCTV voice when saying the word "secret.")

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