To find out that the President of the United States has violated the basic rights of the American people is chilling. And then to see him publicly embrace his actions- and to see so many Members of Congress cheer him on- is appalling.
The President has broken the law, and he has made it clear that he will continue to do so. But the President is not a king. And the Congress is not a king's court. Our job is not to stand up and cheer when the President breaks the law. Our job is to stand up and demand accountability, to stand up and check the power of an out-of-control executive branch.
That is one of the reasons that the framers put us here - to ensure balance between the branches of government, not to act as a professional cheering section.
We need answers. Because no one, not the President, not the Attorney General, and not any of their defenders in this body, has been able to explain why it is necessary to break the law to defend against terrorism. And I think that's because they can't explain it.
- Sen. Russ Feingold 2/7/06