Thursday, January 18, 2007

Wiretapping: Oops! Nevermind!

In the most refreshing case of "Oops! Nevermind!" that I've seen in years, the Bush administration suddenly decided to discontinue their illegal wiretaps.

In January of 2006, I wrote two articles: The Dangerous Encroachment Upon Our Liberties, and it's sequel, Things That Alarm Me. Both of them spelled out the intrinsic dangers that come from ignoring the laws and the U.S. Constitution, no matter how good the justifications are. At that time, I wrote:

"But when you boil it all down, the bones of the problem remain: if the President of the United States is allowed to wiretap anyone at any time as long as we're in a war situation, then it would behoove an unethical President to always be at war; even if it's with a small tribe in Africa. He would then be allowed to pursue his powers, unchecked.

For those of you who consider George Bush a saint, this may be no problem. But, say the next president who comes into power is diametrically opposed to you. For Republicans, let's say this bogeyman is Hillary Rodham Clinton or Ted Kennedy. For Democrats, he'll be Pat Robertson. Or let's take it a step further and say that in 20 years, the first Muslim fundamentalist is elected. ...Now how do you like giving the President free reign?"

There has been a federal challenge that began when a judge recently declared the wiretapping to be illegal. Now that the Bush administration has decided to stop the illegal wiretapping, some pundits surmise that the case will be "rendered moot" and the challenge will be dropped. However, it's not that easy. If the Bush Administration decides to drop the case, they will be tacitly admitting they were performing an illegal act. I guarantee that they will continue to argue their side.

We can be sure that President Bush has not truly changed his mind. Remember, he recently declared the right to open your mail. I hope that this is the very next un-Constitutional decree that our Congress addresses.

We have them on the run, now. Let's hope that they keep running.


Ed Abbey said...

Golly gee, I would have guessed that Attorney General Gonzalez was going to be grilled about wire-tapping next week by Congress. Oh wait, he is. Perhaps that is just coincidence?

I really like Snow's explaination that it was because the FISC was able to arrange a faster way to obtain a warrant when the FISA bills states that they have 72 hours AFTER the wiretapping has already begun to get a warrant. Evidently the secret court FISC has become clairvoyant.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...


The Lazy Iguana said...

Bush will continue to do what he wants, only now he will have to inventer better ways to do it.

By the way - Bush is a Saint. The Saint of made up words and poor logic.

My prediction is that in his final hours, he will decree that all "war time powers" he made up using signing statements and a willing congress that ends it all. You can bet your life he will do this if the next President is a Democrat - but he will likely do it even if the next President is McCain. This way, the mess will be over and the next President will not be able to hold a press conference announcing he (or she....YEA RIGHT!!! HAHAHA) has ended all the illegal powers.

Another thing has occurred to me. Bush has never faced opposition. Nobody has said no to the man. As GOOBERner of Texas he did not do much - Texas has a "weak governor" form of government. As President he could do anything without any real opposition. As the CEO of companies he ran into the ground (and with Daddy's friends on the board of directors) nobody ever said anything.

And now - things are changed. He will hear the no word often. It will be fun to see how he reacts. You know it going to bug him that someone has the gall to say no to him. Who do those people think they are anyway?

Matt said...

I must be coming up in the world or sumpin' because Sen. John McCain emailed me today to ask for $500.

I wish him the best of luck w/ that fundraising.

KristieD said...

i tell you what, i cannot wait for this administration to get what's coming to them...but i certainly won't hold my breath.

daveawayfromhome said...

So what if Dubya says he'll follow FICA rules? He said he'd uphold the constitution, also. If ever there was an administration proven to say one thing and do another, ShrubCo would be it. Here's a simple Bush Rule Of Thumb: whatever his Lordship says he'll do, assume that he's doing something else that you will not like.

Badoozie said...

i consider gwb good leverage, or traction to get my car unstuck from the snow, especially the head part of him

Bryan said...

I hope you're right about him being on the run, but I'm not so sure. Have a look at this article:
Scroll down to the one entitled "US President Orders Military To Begin Jailing All Civilian Protestors To War".

I'm not familiar with the rest of the site or what they say on it, so I can't vouch for its validity. The article was emailed to me by another person.

Bryan said...

A helpful tip: Right-click on the link and choose "Open in New Window". Otherwise you won't be able to navigate very well.