November 25, 2006

Wiretaps...

From the NYT:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 24 — When President Bush went on national television one Saturday morning last December to acknowledge the existence of a secret wiretapping program outside the courts, the fallout was fierce and immediate.

Mr. Bush’s opponents accused him of breaking the law, with a few even calling for his impeachment. His backers demanded that he be given express legal authority to do what he had done. Law professors talked, civil rights groups sued and a federal judge in Detroit declared the wiretapping program unconstitutional.

But as Democrats prepare to take over on Capitol Hill, not much has really changed. For all the sound and fury in the last year, the National Security Agency’s wiretapping program continues uninterrupted, with no definitive action by either Congress or the courts on what, if anything, to do about it, and little chance of a breakthrough in the lame-duck Congress...

This is moderately interesting. It's good to learn that the NSA wiretaps continue, since they are an obvious necessity of the war. And they are clearly legal. We've always tapped foreign communications in times of major war. Among the very first moves of FDR and Wilson in the World Wars were to order taps on all foreign wire and telephone traffic. And Lincoln routinely had telegraph wires tapped. All without warrants of any kind!

I think the President should have just said that this was not a matter that the courts have any right to enquire into. Period.

And the leakers and editors and reporters and publishers responsible for revealing classified information should all be enjoying long terms in a federal prison.

Alas, in these last decadent days of America these sensible things are not politically possible.

Posted by John Weidner at November 25, 2006 7:29 AM
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