Yesterday, the Senate unanimously approved the FY 2008 Intelligence Authorization Act. The bill authorizes all expenditures for intelligence related activities and gives Congressional approval to all of it’s heretofore most controversial programs.
By agreeing to the bill, unanimously, which cannot be stressed enough, Senate Democrats had to swallow some bitter pills. One, they had to drop their demand that the White House turn over all Presidential Daily Briefs between 1997 and 2003. So much for Bush Lied!™. Two, they had to agree to drop a provision that would have required the Director of National Intelligence to assess the impact of climate change on US national security. Sorry, Mr. Gore.
But worst of all for Democrats is the fact that they have now given their assent to the Bush Administration’s most hated intelligence programs by throwing money at them. Warrantless wiretapping, it’s funded. Rendition, funded. Aggressive interrogations, ca-ching! In other words, they’re no longer the president’s “torture interrogations,” They’re the Senate’s as well.
If Democratic Senators think they can hide from their radical left wing base and MoveOn.org types by quietly passing this bill and slipping it back into the House passed version as an amendment, which is what they did, they may find that they are sadly mistaken. Just look at what Democrats have forced down their lefty power base’s throat in just the last few weeks.
Strike one was allowing Senate Republicans to force a vote on a resolution condemning MoveOn.org’s attack on Gen. David Petraues. Remember that in the process of voting for that resolution, the Senate defeated a companion resolution by Sen. Barbara Boxer that would have similarly condemned the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads against Sen. John Kerry and a television ad run against the left’s favorite veteran, former Sen. Max Cleland.
Strike two was a Senate vote to authorize $150 billion in funding for the Iraq War. Granted, no funds have actually been allocated as yet and Democrats still have a chance to force some politically uncomfortable votes for Republicans on that measure. But the vote on the authorization bill was 92-3. Senate Democrats went down virtually without a fight. Only Feingold and Sen. Robert Byrd had the courage to vote against the bill. Since a no vote on this resolution would have given Democrats a chance to speak their disapproval of the continuance of the war without actually denying money to the troops, they could’ve thrown their lefty groups a bone and marshaled 20 or 30 safe Democrats to vote no on principle.
Strike three could be this action on the Intelligence Authorization.
Senator Reid likes to say that Iraq has become “the Senate Republicans’ war,” because Republicans refuse to go along with Democrat resolutions to prevent the military from completing its mission there. By that same logic, Senate Democrats now have ownership over wiretapping, rendition, “torture,” and any other intelligence programs that the left has spent four years condemning. Sauce for the goose and all that.
I'm sure a unanimous vote for the FY 2008 Intelligence Authorization Act was not what the radical left was looking for.
I am beginning to like ol' Dingy Harry in his Senate leadership roll. He may just do more for the right than the RNC.