I've been avoiding the NSA wiretapping issue because it's fairly complex, and my attention has been demanded on other things lately (and will likely get a lot worse soon, as the holidays end and work ramps up again).  However, this post at SaysUncle doesn't look good for the President.  It's one thing to argue back and forth about whether warrants are needed for one class of surveillance or another, it's a different thing entirely to deliberately flout the law when the judges in charge of issuing FISA warrants have begun to examine your requests more closely -- and even deny some of them (a literally unprecedented occurance in 22 years!).

If the true motive of the shift in warrant practices is to evade a FISA court growing less placid about issuing warrants, as has been alleged, I have only one word to describe the President's conduct on this matter:


I'm all for wiretapping the enemy in time of war.  And I'm willing to cut a lot of slack when we're talking about international calls to suspected terrorists.  But we're not talking about the enemy necessarily; we're talking about people the administration thinks might be the enemy.   They might also be loyal American citizens.  And the war on terror will most likely never end (just examine the fate of other "state of emergency" executive orders to see how many are still active). 
But the key here is motive.

To deliberately evade the requirements of the law is to place yourself above it; and such a deliberate choice requires a response both swift and firm.

To do so over a mere 179 modified requests (plus two denied) from a total of 5645 is to demonstrate an outright contempt for the checks and balances necessary in a free society. 

I have my doubts as to whether the "enemy press" has accurately identified the whole story.  But if it has, the President has crossed the line.

UPDATE: The Hammer of Truth has similarly resisted calling for impeachment... but is now seriously considering it.

This entry was published Wed Dec 28 20:03:49 CST 2005 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2005-12-28 20:03:49.0. [Tweet]

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