George Will says in today’s column: ” … Congress, if asked, almost certainly would have made such modifications of law [respecting surveillance] as the president’s plans required. …”
In his news conference yesterday, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales addressed this.
Question: If FISA didn’t work, why didn’t you seek a new statute that allowed something like this legally?
Gonzales: … We’ve had discussions with members of Congress, certain members of Congress, about whether or not we could get an amendment to FISA, and we were advised that that was not likely to be — that was not something we could likely get, certainly not without jeopardizing the existence of the program, and therefore, killing the program. And that — and so the decision was made that because we felt that the authorities were there, that we should continue moving forward with this program.
The news conference was actually quite useful in explaining a wide variety of issues and decision. Too bad it was all but ignored by the big media.