Democratic and Republican calls mounted on Tuesday for U.S. congressional hearings into President George W. Bush's assertion that he can order warrantless spying on Americans with suspected terrorist ties.
Vice President Dick Cheney predicted a backlash against critics of the administration's anti-terrorism policies. He also dismissed charges that Bush overstepped his constitutional bounds when he implemented the recently disclosed eavesdropping shortly after the September 11 attacks.
Republican Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Olympia Snowe of Maine joined Democratic Sens. Carl Levin of Michigan, Dianne Feinstein of California and Ron Wyden of Oregon in calling for a joint investigation by the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary Committees into whether the government eavesdropped "without appropriate legal authority."
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said he would prefer separate hearings by the Judiciary Committee, which has already promised one, and Intelligence Committee.
The more investigatins, the merrier. And let Cheney predict whatever he wants. If after a fair and open debate, the American people decide they want a presidency with unfettered powers in the mold of Saddam Hussein (stolen elections, pre-emptive wars, torture, rape rooms, secret prisons, secret spying), then so be it.
Somehow, I suspect that won't be the case.