Appearing on ABC’s This Week, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) used the foiled terror attempts in London to call for greater domestic spying here in the United States. Lieberman said, “I hope these terrorist attacks in London wake us up here in America to stop the petty partisan fighting going on about…electronic surveillance,” in apparent reference to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subpoenas for documents related to Bush’s NSA warrantless wiretapping program.
Lieberman claimed, “We’re at a partisan gridlock over the question of whether the American government can listen into conversations or follow email trails of non-American citizens.” This is false; the NSA spying program covered the surveillance of American citizens. The “gridlock” exists over whether the administration will cooperate with Congress by explaining why it feels current law is inadequate and why President Bush decided to ignore the law in authorizing a spying program that almost led to mass resignations at the Department of Justice.
Liebermen went further in his calls for greater domestic spying. “The Brits have got something smart going. … They have have cameras all over London. … I think it’s just common sense to do that here much more widely.” Watch it:
In the same interview, Lieberman said of the situation in Iraq, “The surge is working.” He refused to say whether he would back a withdrawal if Gen. Petraeus reports in September that progress is not being made.
Also, Lieberman reaffirmed his previous statements that Democratic candidates do not have “strong and muscular” approaches to foreign policy. Today, he said, “I would say that Democratic candidates, in the larger questions of American security, have been disappointing.”
UPDATE: In Aug. 2006, Lieberman seized on a terror plot in Britain to criticize Ned Lamont’s opposition to the war in Iraq.
UPDATE II: Atrios recalls Lieberman’s claim that a “complete withdrawal is possible by late 2007 or early 2008.