No. No. No. And no. It's an amalgam of all these affronts to democracy and more. It's treacherous. It's despicable. It's an unconstitutional, unjustifiable power grab of the worst sort. It's exempting a branch of government from the rule of law based on one man's say-so.
Plus, it's poorly defended. Take today's Strib:
The revelation that Bush had secretly instructed the NSA to intercept communications of Americans and suspected terrorists inside the United States, without obtaining warrants from a secret court that oversees intelligence matters, was cited by several senators as a reason for their vote.
...Bush said on Saturday that he acted after the Sept. 11 attacks because the United States had failed to detect communications that might have tipped it off to the plot. He said two of the hijackers who flew a jet into the Pentagon, Nawaf al-Hamzi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, "communicated while they were in the United States to other members of Al-Qaida who were overseas. But we didn't know they were here, until it was too late."
The FISA courts should not have been avoided for any reason, but we've turned the vast snooping powers of the NSA against American citizens. While the ACLU battles photo cops, we've got our own government spying on us without oversight because there is a .06% chance that the petition to spy would be rejected.
Do we know what congressional leaders were informed about this yet? It will be interesting to see who knew about it. That would be something if it were just Frist, Delay, Hassert and the intel chairs in each chamber.
By 8:07 AM, at
We need to find out everyone who signed off on this usurpation.
Is there anyone that doesn't think the Bush administration is full of neo fascists?
By 9:50 AM, at
We actually kind of struggled with this one. On one hand, we understand that these phone conversations were made from bad people in the US to bad people outside the US. We're fairly certain that Mr. Bush actually did increase security by conducting these wiretaps. We're also fairly certain that he could really increase security by imposing a curfew on all Americans. This is obviously a ridiculous counter example, but it does show that there is a line to be crossed while protecting our security. The baffling thing here is that he had legal options to provide this security. Not only did he have legal options, but the methods were just as time sensitive as what he did.
By 10:31 AM, at
If they law needed to be changed, surely the President could muster the votes to pass the legislation. I think the Patriot Act renewal is being delayed primarily because of these revelations.
We wish we had a White House press pass. Here's some of our questions:
1- "Mr. President, last week columnist Robert Novak wrote a column that said you knew who the White House source of the Valerie Plame leak was. You just said a few minutes ago that leaks from the press must be stopped and that they threaten national security. Can you categorically deny that you know who passed along the identity of Valerie Plame to members of the media?"
2- "Can you please explain to us how a 72 hour retroactive FISA court warrant is any less time sensitive than the process you authorized?"
3- "What members of Congress were briefed on this process?"
4- "Eariler today, Atty General Gonzalez said that the wiretaps were legal because Congress approved measures for war following 9/11. Can you tell us in your own words what measures grant you that authority and how those measures fall within your powers as enumerated in Article II of the US Constitution?"
5- "Can you categorically deny that the taped conversations originated from US journalists?"
6- "Eariler on in your briefing, you said that we can't give the terrorists a 'heads up' about the methods in which we collect information. Do you honestly believe that terrorists don't think that we wiretap their phones?"
7- "Has a FISA court ever okayed the wiretap of a time sensitive US target?"
By 11:48 AM, at
I think the plan by Feingold and 2 other dems and 3 republicans predates the wiretap revelations... it just gives a the rest a bandwagon to jump on.
By 4:25 PM, at << Home