Since the expiration of the poorly-named Protect America Act, the White House and its allies have gone to great lengths to argue that we should be absolutely terrified. Those mean ol’ Democrats in Congress have refused to give the president everything he wants, and the consequences, they’ve claimed, will likely be catastrophic. Congressional Republicans even created their own ad on the subject, “with the very straightforward message that the Dems will get us all killed by the gun-waving Muslims.”
Well, as it turns out, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is, the administration and Republicans on the Hill appear to have been proven wrong. Again. The good news is, the sky still isn’t falling.
The Bush administration said yesterday that the government “lost intelligence information” because House Democrats allowed a surveillance law to expire last week, causing some telecommunications companies to refuse to cooperate with terrorism-related wiretapping orders.
But hours later, administration officials told lawmakers that the final holdout among the companies had relented and agreed to fully participate in the surveillance program, according to an official familiar with the issue.
The closer one looks, the more it appears the administration’s fear-mongering was unfounded. Who would have guessed?
Also, Jay Rockefeller, Patrick Leahy, Silvestre Reyes, and John Conyers — the Democratic chairmen of the House and Senate intelligence and judiciary committees — had an op-ed in the WaPo today on the subject today.