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Specter's Uneasy Relationship With White House Is Revealed in a Letter to Cheney


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I hope Arlen doesn't use his "diffusive brilliance" in the same fashion as he did for the Warren Omission...

He might pull out a Commodore 64 or an Atari and explaint he internet to us so its easier to understand.

The fact that these buffoons even hold a job in America is not only awe inspiring, it is a testament to the general stupidity of the American people en masse.

This is the last right wing stooge to be speaking to anyone about anything, let alone INVESTIGATING anything....

Oh well another whitewash is on its way....

New York Times

Chris Greenberg/Bloomberg News

Vice President Dick Cheney made a deal with other Republicans on the Judiciary

Committee to block testimony from phone companies. The lawmaker, Senator Arlen

Specter of Pennsylvania, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, accused Vice

President Dick Cheney of meddling behind his back in the committee's business,

bringing into the open a conflict that has simmered for months.

In a letter to Mr. Cheney that the senator released to the news media, Mr.

Specter said the vice president had cut him out of discussions with all the

other Republicans on his own committee about oversight of the administration's

eavesdropping programs, a subject on which Mr. Specter has often been at odds

with the White House.

The trigger for Mr. Specter's anger was a deal made by Mr. Cheney with the other

Republicans on the committee to block testimony from phone companies that

reportedly cooperated in providing call records to the National Security Agency.

Mr. Specter, who had been considering issuing subpoenas to compel telephone

company executives to testify, learned of Mr. Cheney's actions only when he went

into a closed meeting of the committee's Republicans on Tuesday afternoon,

shortly after encountering the vice president at a weekly luncheon of all Senate

Republicans.

Mr. Specter's tone in the letter was restrained, but he made no effort to hide

his displeasure at having been outmaneuvered and, in his view, undermined, by

Mr. Cheney.

"I was surprised, to say the least, that you sought to influence, really

determine, the action of the committee without calling me first, or at least

calling me at some point," Mr. Specter wrote. "This was especially perplexing

since we both attended the Republican senators caucus lunch yesterday and I

walked directly in front of you on at least two occasions en route from the

buffet to my table."

A spokeswoman for Mr. Cheney, Lea Anne McBride, said Wednesday night that the

vice president "has not had an opportunity to study" the letter.

"We're going to continue to work with members, listening to their legislative

ideas," Ms. McBride said, although she added that it was "not necessary to have

legislation to carry out the terrorist surveillance program."

She had no comment on the assertion that Mr. Cheney had worked behind the

chairman's back.

Mr. Specter's evident frustration underscored the growing unease on Capitol

Hill, among some Republicans as well as many Democrats, over the

administration's efforts to exert executive power. At the same time, the White

House has been trying to repair its relations with Congress.

One Republican with close ties to the administration, who was granted anonymity

to discuss the thinking at the White House, said Mr. Specter had been

increasingly nettlesome to the administration with his persistent criticism,

especially of the surveillance programs.

Noting that the White House was ultimately pleased with Mr. Specter's help in

securing the confirmations of Mr. Bush's Supreme Court nominees, this Republican

said, "All of that good will he's built up has really been dissipated because he

keeps smacking them around."

A senior White House official, granted anonymity to discuss internal

deliberations, said the president's chief of staff, Joshua B. Bolten, had

reached out to Mr. Specter on Friday to press the administration's case for how

to handle the phone companies.

The official described the conversation as "cordial but not productive."

"That's when we started reaching out to other members," the official said. "It

was not out of disrespect."

The official went on, "The chairman's position is well known, and he knows our position, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't work with other members who may be

more open to our position."

Mr. Specter has been the leading Republican voice raising questions about the

legal underpinnings of the surveillance programs.

In his letter, Mr. Specter told Mr. Cheney that events were unfolding in a

"context where the administration is continuing warrantless wiretaps in

violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and is preventing the

Senate Judiciary Committee from carrying out its constitutional responsibility

for Congressional oversight."

Mr. Cheney, by contrast, has led the White House's effort to defend the

surveillance programs on legal and national security grounds.

The vice president has also been the primary force behind the administration's

efforts to expand executive power in a wide variety of areas, a stance that has

at times put him in direct conflict with Mr. Specter.

When Mr. Specter faced a difficult primary challenge in 2004, Mr. Bush sided

with Mr. Specter, giving him vital political support.

In an interview, Mr. Specter described his relationship with Mr. Cheney as

generally friendly and cordial. But he was clearly put out by the vice

president's handling of the issue and his failure to pull Mr. Specter aside as

he made several trips to the buffet for tuna salad and hard-boiled egg, salad

dressing and fruit.

"He can talk to anybody he wants to," Mr. Specter said. "I think as a matter of

basic protocol he ought not to exclude the chairman."

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I hope Arlen doesn't use his "diffusive brilliance" in the same fashion as he did for the Warren Omission...

He might pull out a Commodore 64 or an Atari and explaint he internet to us so its easier to understand.

The fact that these buffoons even hold a job in America is not only awe inspiring, it is a testament to the general stupidity of the American people en masse.

This is the last right wing stooge to be speaking to anyone about anything, let alone INVESTIGATING anything....

Oh well another whitewash is on its way....

New York Times

Chris Greenberg/Bloomberg News

Vice President Dick Cheney made a deal with other Republicans on the Judiciary

Committee to block testimony from phone companies. The lawmaker, Senator Arlen

Specter of Pennsylvania, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, accused Vice

President Dick Cheney of meddling behind his back in the committee's business,

bringing into the open a conflict that has simmered for months.

In a letter to Mr. Cheney that the senator released to the news media, Mr.

Specter said the vice president had cut him out of discussions with all the

other Republicans on his own committee about oversight of the administration's

eavesdropping programs, a subject on which Mr. Specter has often been at odds

with the White House.

The trigger for Mr. Specter's anger was a deal made by Mr. Cheney with the other

Republicans on the committee to block testimony from phone companies that

reportedly cooperated in providing call records to the National Security Agency.

Mr. Specter, who had been considering issuing subpoenas to compel telephone

company executives to testify, learned of Mr. Cheney's actions only when he went

into a closed meeting of the committee's Republicans on Tuesday afternoon,

shortly after encountering the vice president at a weekly luncheon of all Senate

Republicans.

Mr. Specter's tone in the letter was restrained, but he made no effort to hide

his displeasure at having been outmaneuvered and, in his view, undermined, by

Mr. Cheney.

"I was surprised, to say the least, that you sought to influence, really

determine, the action of the committee without calling me first, or at least

calling me at some point," Mr. Specter wrote. "This was especially perplexing

since we both attended the Republican senators caucus lunch yesterday and I

walked directly in front of you on at least two occasions en route from the

buffet to my table."

A spokeswoman for Mr. Cheney, Lea Anne McBride, said Wednesday night that the

vice president "has not had an opportunity to study" the letter.

"We're going to continue to work with members, listening to their legislative

ideas," Ms. McBride said, although she added that it was "not necessary to have

legislation to carry out the terrorist surveillance program."

She had no comment on the assertion that Mr. Cheney had worked behind the

chairman's back.

Mr. Specter's evident frustration underscored the growing unease on Capitol

Hill, among some Republicans as well as many Democrats, over the

administration's efforts to exert executive power. At the same time, the White

House has been trying to repair its relations with Congress.

One Republican with close ties to the administration, who was granted anonymity

to discuss the thinking at the White House, said Mr. Specter had been

increasingly nettlesome to the administration with his persistent criticism,

especially of the surveillance programs.

Noting that the White House was ultimately pleased with Mr. Specter's help in

securing the confirmations of Mr. Bush's Supreme Court nominees, this Republican

said, "All of that good will he's built up has really been dissipated because he

keeps smacking them around."

A senior White House official, granted anonymity to discuss internal

deliberations, said the president's chief of staff, Joshua B. Bolten, had

reached out to Mr. Specter on Friday to press the administration's case for how

to handle the phone companies.

The official described the conversation as "cordial but not productive."

"That's when we started reaching out to other members," the official said. "It

was not out of disrespect."

The official went on, "The chairman's position is well known, and he knows our position, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't work with other members who may be

more open to our position."

Mr. Specter has been the leading Republican voice raising questions about the

legal underpinnings of the surveillance programs.

In his letter, Mr. Specter told Mr. Cheney that events were unfolding in a

"context where the administration is continuing warrantless wiretaps in

violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and is preventing the

Senate Judiciary Committee from carrying out its constitutional responsibility

for Congressional oversight."

Mr. Cheney, by contrast, has led the White House's effort to defend the

surveillance programs on legal and national security grounds.

The vice president has also been the primary force behind the administration's

efforts to expand executive power in a wide variety of areas, a stance that has

at times put him in direct conflict with Mr. Specter.

When Mr. Specter faced a difficult primary challenge in 2004, Mr. Bush sided

with Mr. Specter, giving him vital political support.

In an interview, Mr. Specter described his relationship with Mr. Cheney as

generally friendly and cordial. But he was clearly put out by the vice

president's handling of the issue and his failure to pull Mr. Specter aside as

he made several trips to the buffet for tuna salad and hard-boiled egg, salad

dressing and fruit.

"He can talk to anybody he wants to," Mr. Specter said. "I think as a matter of

basic protocol he ought not to exclude the chairman."

I believe the material you have posted here, is to many individuals known as 'pablum for the masses.'

If there are any honorable men attached to this latest scandal......please let me know. My personal favorite 'news' of this morning were the comments on the local Rupert Murdoch channel, along the lines of 'there may be an increase of violence over the martyrdom of al-Zarqawi."

I will not even address the quote by our CEO.

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I hope Arlen doesn't use his "diffusive brilliance" in the same fashion as he did for the Warren Omission...

He might pull out a Commodore 64 or an Atari and explaint the internet to us so its easier to understand.

The fact that these buffoons even hold a job in America is not only awe inspiring, it is a testament to the general stupidity of the American people en masse.

This is the last right wing stooge to be speaking to anyone about anything, let alone INVESTIGATING anything....

Oh well another whitewash is on its way....[/b]

Actually, I'd probably concern myself more with a run for the White House ...!
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