This morning, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) added his name to the growing list of conservatives who have expressed disapproval of Bush’s illegal warrantless wiretapping program, further undermining the right-wing spin that the only critics of the program are liberals. On ABC’s This Week:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you confident that the administration has acted lawfully in this case?
BROWNBACK: I think we need to hold hearings on it and we’re going to. Both in the intelligence committee, there will be closed hearings and then the judiciary committee will have open hearings.
I think we need to look at this case and this issue. I am troubled by what the basis for the grounds that the administration says that they did these on, the legal basis, and I think we need to look at that far more broadly and understand it a great deal.
I think this is something that bears looking into and us to be able to establish a policy within constitutional frameworks of what a president can or cannot do.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You don’t think the 9/11 resolution gave the president the authority for this program?
BROWNBACK: It didn’t, in my vote. I voted for that resolution. That was a week after 9/11. There was nothing you were going to do to stop us from going to war in Afghanistan, but there was no discussion in anything that I was around that that gave the president a broad surveillance authority with that resolution.
Brownback’s view echoes that of Sen. Tom Daschle’s and that of the non-partisan Congressional Research Service. More and more people are seeing Bush’s policy for what it truly is: an unnecessary and unconstitutional power-grab.
UPDATE: Crooks and Liars has the video.