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“Hard to Pin Down”- Bobby Casey’s Position on Wiretapping April 28, 2006

Posted by papundit in Uncategorized.
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I haven't been able to figure out Casey Jr's position on domestic surveillance (aka wiretapping). Since his campaign website doesn't mention the issue, I turned to my research assistant- Mr. Google. After more than an hour of Google searching, I'm still not sure where he stands.

A search for Casey+position+wiretapping did bring up the following Philadelphia City Paper article (April 13-19, 2006). A few choice comments from the article include:

"Casey is a careful speaker, given to caveats, and, much like John Kerry, can be hard to pin down."

"Asked whether he supported the idea of censuring Bush for illegal wiretapping, Casey said no, he didn't, then embarked on a long spiel about investigations, and, again, the importance of holding the administration accountable. Pennacchio, who has a flair for show, took the floor next. He paused for a beat, then said, 'The answer is yes, absolutely.' A roar came up from the partisan Democrat audience, and Casey sat quietly, like a child who'd just been reprimanded."

A search on the Santorum campaign website brought up the following press release, which notes that "Senator Santorum fully supports the President's ability to use all tools appropriate if it means protecting the American people from a deadly terrorist attack." It also included some telling quotes from Casey's radio and TV interviews:

Casey on Fred Honsberger (KDKA radio, 2/7/06):"I think I'd be saying what I think both parties have said, not every leader in both parties, but I think Senator Specter took the lead early and said we should have an investigation, which is underway right now. I think that's a good thing, because if the law was broken, whoever broke the law in the federal government should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. And I think that a lot of Americans are disturbed by a policy whether it's legal or illegal that will be determined probably in the near future, but even if it's not illegal, I think people get very concerned about tipping the balance in favor of a policy that impacts how Americans can communicate. And I think that people are concerned about that as well as being concerned about an effort to root out terrorism. And I think there's a lot of bipartisan support for that obviously, but I think that people want to have answers, and that's why you have hearings and that's why you put people under oath. I think even the Attorney General, by the way, should be under oath."

Casey on the Pulse with Corey O'Brien (Fox 56, WOLF TV, 2/12/06): "Well, I don't think, I don't think that the hearings hurt our ability to protect our homeland. What I do think we have to do – and I think most Americans agree with this – we have to give law enforcement – any federal agency – the tools they need to fight the war on terror – that's the most important thing. And while we're doing that I think we can – we can – also respect the rights of Americans in terms of how they communicate, and I think that if the Congress determines after this hearing that our government doesn't have the resources it needs, they can make changes. But if someone broke the law here, they should be prosecuted. We don't know that yet, but we'll see what the hearings tell. But it's a very important question about getting it right. Fighting the war on terrorism as aggressively as possible but doing it within the law."

Huh? So would Casey vote in the Senate to support domestic surveillance or not? I really can't tell from these answers, and Casey's website is no help either.

Is a simple yes/no answer really that hard? I disagree with Chuck Pennacchio's position, but I respect him for having the honesty to answer the question clearly.

The City Paper was right; Casey is "hard to pin down." In my book, that's not an admirable trait. Voters deserve answers from him on questions of national security.

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