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January 05, 2006

Why Domestic Spying Matters

Rumors are flying about whether the NSA's domestic spying program was eavesdropping on CNN reporter Christian Amanpour after NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell brought up the possibility. As America Blog points out, the consequences of such spying would be devastating to the democratic process. Was Bush spying on John Kerry and other Democratic opponents throughout the 2004 elections? Will we ever know? By circumventing established law and the Constitution by admitting it has and continues to spy on Americans without their knowledge and w/out any judicial oversight, the Bush administration has lost any shred of credibilty it might have had. If Bush denies that he spied on his political opponents, how can anyone trust that it's true?

I'll spare you an extended rant, but as the Huffington Post notes, Bush's domestic spying does not involve a “tradeoff” between security and civil liberties. Existing laws give the NSA plenty of room to get secret warrants and accomplish the same thing if they think it's necessary for U.S. security purposes:

There is no “trade off” issue here. There is no amount of security that would have been “traded off” had Bush followed the law. He would have gotten all the wiretaps we needed and we'd have gotten all the security that resulted from them.

Meanwhile, it appears some Democrats are taking this seriously and are accusing Bush of breaking the law. This is a new spin on viewing this domestic spying as a criminal act, but it sounds just as persuasive—if not more so—as simply arguing that Bush violated the 4th Amendment.

Posted January 5, 2006 04:22 PM | general politics

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As a citizen, the whole thing has me outraged...

As a law student, I read Orin Kerr's excellent legal analysis of the whole thing, and although I see the (extremely weak argument) that the authorization was within Bush's power, I still think he did break the law.

And I'm sorry, yes, I'm a liberal--but if we can impeach a guy for lying about a blow job, shouldn't we be able to impeach a guy for breaking a Federal law!?!

Posted by: Dave! at January 5, 2006 06:08 PM

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