I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Pat Roberts, Shill

From Abu Ghraib abuses to secret CIA detainee prisons to the Valerie Plame affair, critics say, Roberts has become a dependable shill for the White House, ever ready to shield Bush policy from criticism and ever willing to compromise Congress' legitimate oversight role.
The above is not from the New York Times or the Washington Post but from Roberts' conservative hometown paper the Wichita Eagle. Even the folks in Kansas recognize a cultist shill when they see one.
Many Kansans, including members of The Eagle editorial board, have long admired Sen. Pat Roberts for his plainspokenness and reputation for fair brokering of issues.
So it's troubling that Roberts, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is fast gaining the reputation in Washington, D.C., as a reliable partisan apologist for the Bush administration on intelligence and security controversies.
We hope that's not true. But Roberts' credibility is on the line.
Now if Roberts ever had any credibility it has long since vanished to most of us. His sorry attempts to run cover for the Bush administration over the spying issue are just the latest example but he's running into more resistance from within the Republican party this time. The Eagle continues:
This week, Roberts sidetracked a Senate Intelligence Committee inquiry into the possibly illegal National Security Agency wiretap program, saying the White House had agreed to brief lawmakers more regularly and to work with him on a behind-the-scenes "fix" of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
That prompted a scathing New York Times editorial Friday headlined "Doing the President's Dirty Work," which opined: "Is there any aspect of President Bush's miserable record on intelligence that Senator Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is not willing to excuse and help to cover up?"
Granted, a legislative tweaking is probably the right approach if the FISA court law somehow hampers America's ability to conduct relevant and timely anti-terror electronic surveillance.
But whether the law needs a "fix" is far from certain. Roberts' deal could thwart Congress' duty to learn more about and evaluate this program, while securing from the White House only a vague pledge to talk about fixing the law down the road.
To be fair, Roberts' decisions are no doubt motivated in part by his insider knowledge that the terrorist threat is real and must be met aggressively, as well as his understandable frustration about intelligence partisanship.
What's bothering many, though, is that Roberts seems prepared to write the Bush team a series of blank checks to conduct the war on terror, even to the point of ignoring policy mistakes and possible violations of law.
That's not oversight -- it's looking the other way
It seems that even in Kansas they are worried about the constitution and congressional oversight.

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