Since the President unveiled his "news" on terrorism this week, I've become angrier and angrier. The timing is cynical and he has selectively declassified sensitive intelligence -- again -- in order to persuade voters that his Administration owns this issue and to change the subject from the deteriorating situation in Iraq.
I don't buy it - and I bet you don't either. My guess is that most voters won't buy it.
Here's the statement I put out yesterday in response to President Bush's speech:
Detaining, interrogating, and surveilling terror suspects are vital tools for protecting America. But so are safeguarding our Constitution and our values. Five years after 9/11, we need to do better at both.
Today's address by the President is the opening salvo in the fall campaign.
As a person who comes to work every day trying to understand the complexities of the threats against us, I resent being told that either I suspend the laws for heinous murderers like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed - or I am coddling terrorists.
Finally, the President has come to Congress. It's a shame that it took a Supreme Court opinion, a law banning torture, and public outcry to get him here. He should have done this years ago, not on the eve of an election.
The Administration's proposed legislation on military commissions needs careful review and the briefings I and some others received earlier today were a start. But I hope that the Congressional leadership will permit a thorough review, and not simply rubberstamp the President's expansion of executive authority.
Congress on a bipartisan basis has the constitutional responsibility to regulate captures (Article I, Section 8), to protect people against unreasonable searches (4th Amendment) and to assure that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act functions as the exclusive way to eavesdrop on Americans in America.