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It looks like Shrub us getting jumpy on us. A Newsweek story covers what happened. He went so far as to bring members of the New York Times into his office and plead with them not to run with the eavesdropping story they ran last week. They'd been sitting on the story for a while at the request of the administration.
No wonder Bush was so desperate that The New York Times not publish its story on the National Security Agency eavesdropping on American citizens without a warrant, in what lawyers outside the administration say is a clear violation of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. I learned this week that on December 6, Bush summoned Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and executive editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office in a futile attempt to talk them out of running the story. The Times will not comment on the meeting, but one can only imagine the president’s desperation.
Our civil liberties have been one of the things that differentiates us from other countries. We prided ourselves on them. Yet everyday, we find they have been violated. The FISA law itself probably violates some civil liberties but it was put into place to make sure they weren't violated further.
The constitution clearly defined presidential powers and in the fourth amendment, clearly defined what protections our citizens had and the limits government had:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The administration clearly violated those rights and should be held accountable. The presidency doesn't have unlimited power to "protect" the country.
As the Newsweek article suggested, this is getting into the meat of our constitution and the limits on presidential power. Congress must clamp down on the presidential powers and SCOTUS must back them up on this. The president and the various bureaucracies that support him must have at least the pretense they are working for they are being monitored and kept in check.
posted by Stithmeister @ 8:23 AM
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I'm currently working in the telecomm industry but one of my passions is still politics.
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