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Wednesday, May 24, 2006 2:03 AM

Like a pack of compliant zombies chihuahuas pumped full of Thorazine rats grooving to the Pied Piper, the Senate Intelligence Committee confirmed the nomination of General Michael Hayden as CIA Director.

Only three Democrats � Senators Russ Feingold, Evan Bayh, and Ron Wyden � voted against confirmation.

"I am not convinced that the nominee respects the rule of law and Congress' oversight responsibilities," said Feingold.

Despite her strong words last week about a potential war over the 4th Amendment, Senator Dianne Feinstein ignored the fact that Hayden contradicted himself on that specific point and accepted specious logic about the program.

Yet somehow, Hayden earned glowing recommendations from 12 of the 15 committee members.

Senators, each of you took an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Today, you have broken that oath, and you should be ashamed.

And Attorney General Torquemada Alberto Gonzales is now arguing that domestic telephone records � such as those allegedly gathered by the NSA with the cooperation of major phone companies � qualify as business records and can be collected under a 1979 Supreme Court ruling.

Though he did not confirm the story, which ran in USA Today, Gonzales explained that, "... those kinds of records do not enjoy 4th Amendment protection. There is no reasonable expectation of privacy in those kind of records."

But the pen register process is usually applied on a much more narrow basis to criminal and foreign intelligence cases. Not, as the USA Today article implied, tens of millions of numbers.

Essentially, Gonzales is saying the 4th Amendment is nothing more than a legal fiction, trumped by national security and Presidential paranoia.

This is not a question of oversight, it's a question of deliberately and repeatedly ignoring and/or circumventing the 4th Amendment. This is a man who defends the concepts of torture and extraordinary rendition, but thinks Americans should just blindly accept continued and increasing abrogations of our rights under federal law.

The only oversight taking place is the Democrats forgetting where they put their brains and spines.

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