Some Democrats say they never approved a domestic wiretapping program, undermining suggestions by President Bush and his senior advisers that the plan was fully vetted in a series of congressional briefings. "I feel unable to fully evaluate, much less endorse, these activities," West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the Senate Intelligence Committee's top Democrat, said in a handwritten letter to Vice President Dick Cheney in July 2003. "As you know, I am neither a technician nor an attorney."Here is Roger Biles writing about Illinois's Sen Paul Douglas back in the 1950s,
Rockefeller is among a small group of congressional leaders who have received briefings on the administration's four-year-old program to eavesdrop _without warrants _ on international calls and e-mails of Americans and others inside the United States with suspected ties to al-Qaida.
An avid defender of civil liberties who had been the frequent target of red-baiters during his own political career, Douglas genuinely deplored McCarthy's methods, and yet --as the quotations cited by Fried suggest-- he grudgingly admitted that the proven existence of communist spies necessitated the unpleasant kind of investigative work conducted by the red-hunters.Biles had quoted Fried earlier as having said,
Paul Douglas (not noted for a lack of courage), while disapproving of McCarthy's methods, had to concede that 'we have had some Alger Hisses in government'. 'We were handicapped by the fact that many of the men who McCArthy singled out were implicated to some extent.'From page 100 of Roger Biles book Crusading Liberal.
Linked at Hugh Hewitt and Real Ugly American.