Senate should hold GOP accountable for spying

The U.S. Senate’s Intelligence Committee announced a shocking decision Feb. 17. It will not be investigating the wiretappings of millions of Americans. How surprising.

Well, not really surprising. Hypocritical, yes, but not surprising. When President Bill Clinton lied about what happened with certain orifices in the Oval Office, the Republicans pounced on him like a lion going for the kill.

But before Monica Lewinsky became a household name for conservatives and a swear for liberals, Republicans investigated any possible wrongdoing with Hillary Clinton and Whitewater (not Richard Nixon’s scandal), a real estate business that went belly up. Three separate investigations cleared the Clintons of any misconduct.

Kenneth Starr’s exhaustive investigation into the Paula Jones affair led to Clinton’s impeachment, although the Senate did not convict him because prosecutors could not pick out when Clinton lied and when he didn’t.

One would think that a political party that has no problem launching investigations about a stain on a dress or a bad business deal would certainly apply the same scrutiny to any president, regardless of his affiliation.

Of course, one would be wrong.

Why is the party of ‘personal responsibility’ so reluctant to hold people responsible?

America goes to war on faulty intelligence, and no investigation is launched. America suffers its worst terrorist attack in its history, and Republicans dig in to block any investigation as to why it was allowed to happen.

Now President George W. Bush may have broken the law, as Clinton did when he lied under oath. Bush may have illegally spied on countless American citizens. And, once again, the party of smaller government wants to act as if it is alright to invade people’s private lives.

One Republican tried to explain why the Senate is not going to check out whether the spying was legitimate. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) said, “An investigation at this point basically would be detrimental to this highly classified program and our efforts to reach some accommodation with the administration.”

The administration may have broken the law, and the Senate is worried about accommodating them?

Since when does America ‘accommodate’ potential law-breakers? Clinton’s lies were investigated even though he didn’t infringe on anyone’s rights. Bush uses the Bill of Rights as toilet paper and the Senate Intelligence Committee is concerned about accommodating him?

But a simple call, letter or E-mail to your senators could change that. Tell them that the Republican Party, which espouses accountability, should hold its members accountable.

Not doing so seems about as good an idea as going on a hunting trip with Vice President Dick Cheney.

A few Republicans have spoken out against this erosion of our liberties. But for the most part the GOP stands by its man.

Apparently, in the party of ‘smaller government,’ the only thing Republicans want to privatize is Social Security.

How about we privatize privacy?