Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.
Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda, the officials said. The agency, they said, still seeks warrants to monitor entirely domestic communications.
How about that? Mister Bush decided to do that all on his own with an executive order. No Patriot Act, no blank check Authorization for Use of Military Force. He just went and wrote him his own blank check.
Administration officials are confident that existing safeguards are sufficient to protect the privacy and civil liberties of Americans
Which administration officials would these be? The ones who think the Geneva Conventions are "quaint" and "obsolete?" The same ones who think it's constitutional for the President to suspend habeas corpus? The same ones who think Mister Bush has "plenary [absolute]" war powers and that his "decisions are for him alone and are unreviewable?"
And which administration official was it who said that when it comes to fighting terrorism, "anything we do is within the law?"
Hey, by golly, that was Mister Bush his own self, wasn't it?
This executive order spying has been going on for four years, and we're just now hearing about it. The NYT held the story for a year. Hey, way to watch out for us, public watchdogs.
We found out a couple days ago that the Pentagon has been spying on war protesters. How long did the NYT keep that under wraps?
Amok. Out of control. Gonzo.
Yes, Virginia, your President has been exercising dictatorial powers. Under the table, behind your back, and square in front of your face.
Want to do something about it? Good luck.
The GOP controlled House won't impeach him, and the GOP controlled Senate won't convict him. (Plus, he's got Joe Lieberman in his pocket.)
Think you can challenge Mister Bush's shenanigans in the courts? Think again.
While you were watching the circus act over Supreme Court nominations, your leader was loading the lower courts with federalist yes men. These are the guys (like John Roberts) who ruled it was okay for Mister Bush to throw whoever he wanted into Guantanamo, and keep American citizens in a Navy brig without access to a lawyer or the courts. Do you suppose they're going to get upset over a little thing like using the National Security Agency to spy on you?