As noted yesterday, Time has built a protective cocoon around Joe Klein, refusing to print anything that might suggest that their Golden Boy Joe Klein is fallible. So they're stonewalling letters like this one from the CHAIRMEN of the House judiciary and intelligence committees:
To the editors of TIME Magazine
Joe Klein recently criticized the RESTORE Act ("The Tone Deaf Democrats," Nov. 21, 2007), claiming that it "would require the surveillance of every foreign-terrorist target's calls to be approved by the FISA court." This is incorrect. The RESTORE Act creates "basket" authorizations to allow widespread surveillance of foreign powers (such as Al Qaeda) and their agents. To prevent a repeat of the Bush Administration's extra-legal warrantless wiretapping program, the court must approve the parameters of the group surveillance to ensure that warrants are still obtained for Americans' communications. But no court orders are required for surveillance of foreigners reasonably believed to be outside of the country. The bill simply will not make our intelligence agencies get thousands of warrants for foreign terrorists.
The RESTORE Act's blend of executive branch flexibility, court approval, and congressional oversight is calibrated to ensure that the fight against terrorism is conducted in an efficient and constitutional manner. We would hope that Mr. Klein, having studied the RESTORE Act further, is no longer so confused as to continue to characterize our system of constitutional checks and balances as "well beyond stupid."
John Conyers, Jr. and Silvestre Reyes