A report by Congress's research arm concluded yesterday that the administration's justification for the warrantless eavesdropping authorized by President Bush conflicts with existing law and hinges on weak legal arguments.It's worth repeating this last quote, "there's the executive acting alone without consulting the courts or Congress." Exactly, we have a rogue president who believes himself to be more of a king or dictator than an elected leader by and for the people.
The Congressional Research Service's report rebuts the central assertions made recently by Bush and Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales about the president's authority to order secret intercepts of telephone and e-mail exchanges between people inside the United States and their contacts abroad.
The findings, the first nonpartisan assessment of the program's legality to date, prompted Democratic lawmakers and civil liberties advocates to repeat calls yesterday for Congress to conduct hearings on the monitoring program and attempt to halt it.
"This report contradicts the president's claim that his spying on Americans was legal," said Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), one of the lawmakers who asked the CRS to research the issue. "It looks like the president's wiretapping was not only illegal, but also ensnared innocent Americans who did nothing more than place a phone call."
Some law professors have been skeptical of the president's assertions, and several said yesterday that the report's conclusions were expected. "Ultimately, the administration's position is not persuasive," said Carl W. Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor and an expert on constitutional law. "Congress has made it pretty clear it has legislated pretty comprehensively on this issue with FISA," he said, referring to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. "And there begins to be a pattern of unilateral executive decision making. Time and again, there's the executive acting alone without consulting the courts or Congress."
The continuing shame is when are the people going to wake up and see this fact. Instead, they still want to believe in the office of president (not Bush per say), always remaining optimistic about our institutions and historical norms -- despite the fact that in the last five years much of this tradition has been transformed and often wrecked beyond recognition. If the good public doesn't toss off the rose-colored glasses pretty darn soon, we'll never be able to rebuild the Republic to its former self.
UPDATE: So the Bugman won't try to regain his House leadership position -- shocker. Funny how this psychopath still contends the charges are "baseless."