PolySciFi Blog

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Eavesdropping Roundup

Glenn Greenwald has posted an excellent roundup of rebuttals to various questionable legal justifications for Bush's warrantless wiretapping program here. This is a good resource. He ends with this summary:
Ultimately, though, the entire legal debate in the NSA scandal comes down to these few, very clear and straightforward facts: Congress passed a law in 1978 making it a criminal offense to eavesdrop on Americans without judicial oversight. Nobody of any significance ever claimed that that law was unconstitutional. The Administration not only never claimed it was unconstitutional, but Bush expressly asked for changes to the law in the aftermath of 9/11, thereafter praised the law, and misled Congress and the American people into believing that they were complying with the law. In reality, the Administration was secretly breaking the law, and then pleaded with The New York Times not to reveal this. Once caught, the Administration claimed it has the right to break the law and will continue to do so.

That's where we are in this country -- with an Administration expressly claiming it has the power to engage in actions which the American people, through their Congress, expressly made it a criminal offense to engage in.
I would add that we also find ourselves with two new Supreme Court justices who have rarely met an executive branch power they didn't like.


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