Glenn Greenwald: Myth-making and excuse-making on the Feingold Resolution

(This post first appeared at The Huffington Post and is published here with permission.)

In order to generate further support for the Feingold Censure Resolution, numerous bloggers are encouraging everyone to pay an actual physical visit to their Senators' local offices in order to urge support for censure. Anyone doing so is likely to encounter the two primary myths/excuses which have been concocted by Senators and others in order to justify their refusal to support the Resolution. They are both plainly false:

MYTH/EXCUSE NUMBER ONE: An investigation is needed before it can be known whether the President broke the law.

This has become the favored weapon of evasion for most Democratic Senators. Most who have refused to take a position on the Feingold Resolution have used the excuse that there has to be a full investigation before they can know if censure is appropriate. We have heard this excuse from, among many others, Senators Salazar, Stabenow, Bingaman, Levin and Dodd. That is just a small sampling of the list of Democrats who have claimed not to be able to take a position on the Feingold Resolution until an 'investigation' is conducted.

Bush supporters have also been peddling this same myth. In his angry and rather uncontrolled rant this weekend on Chris Wallace's show, Brit Hume proclaimed that it was somehow outrageous for Senators such as Feingold and Tom Harkin to attack the illegality of Bush's warrantless eavesdropping when they 'have not even been briefed on the program' -- as though we do not yet know enough about the program in order to determine whether it is illegal.

This excuse for not taking a position on censure is not only false, but also outright illogical on its face. There are two distinct and independent issues raised by the NSA scandal:

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