Sunday, December 18, 2005

George Bush thinks the American people are his enemies. Were Congressional leaders accomplices to his illegal spying?

George Bush thinks the American people are his enemies.

Bush said, "Revealing classified information is illegal, alerts our enemies, and endangers our country."

The revealed "secret" is Bush has been spying on Americans without proving to a court that there's a reason. Now we, Americans the enemies, know. News stories and blogs have been covering details of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that lets the NSA start a wiretap and then get a warrant within 72 hours. It shows the timeliness argument is fallacious. Warrantless searches without judicial review that undermine the 4th Amendment is the danger to our country.

What's more disturbing, because Bush has repeatedly shown disregard for the rule of law, is the Senate and House leaders sheep-in-charge who appear to have known and remained silent.

Maybe Bush mislead them like he twisted the intelligence to justify going to war in Iraq. So far, the defenses are weak and unconvincing, or not easily found. Here's what 2 of the Democrats say.

Pelosi Statement on President Bush's Authorization of National Security Agency's Activities
“The Bush Administration considered these briefings to be notification, not a request for approval. As is my practice whenever I am notified about such intelligence activities, I expressed my strong concerns during these briefings.”

She didn't express her strong concerns to the public. Did she raise concerns with Senator Reid? with the Intelligence Committee? with the Judicial Committee?

Reid Seeks Probe of Bush Domestic Spying
Reid acknowledged that he was briefed by the administration about the surveillance program "a couple of months ago." But he said the program apparently has been going on for four years and "there's no way the president can pass the buck."

Good. I'm happy to hear the President can't pass the buck. Neither can the Senate and House members who knew a crime was being committed and did nothing. Reid, like Pelosi, needs to offer a better explanation. The Republicans need to explain themselves too. They swore an oath to protect the Constitution.

It's like watching a disaster unfold in slow motion. I'm sorry it finally came to this, our worst fears confirmed, the president caught repeatedly claiming he's above the law. Maybe it will shake the people out of their Republican fear-mongered complacency.

The Washington Post editorial is encouraging:

Spying on Americans As with its infamous torture memorandum, the administration appears to have taken the position that the president is entitled to ignore a clearly worded criminal law when it proves inconvenient in the war on terrorism.

Immediate investigations need to begin. Call or write your Senators and Congressmen.

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