Warrantless Wiretaps–A Felony Regardless of Precautions

Conservative bloggers are all hot and excited over the report yesterday that Bush’s hand picked lap dogs approved of his warrantless wiretaps. This was hardly a surprise. The panel consisted of four Republicans and one neoconservative Democrat with a history of bashing Democrats–sort of a Joe Lieberman without the prestige of a Senate seat. The panel found adequate safe guards to protect civil liberties, but that is hardly surprising. With such a biased panel, which lacked subpoena power, it is no surprise that they found nothing wrong. We could just as easily chose a panel of four liberal Democrats and one Repubican such as Congressman Bob Barr which would come to the opposite conclusion.

Even if there were adequate precautions in place to protect the civil liberties of Americans, this is not the point. The simple point here is that Congress specifically made such conduct a felony, and the Executive Branch is not above the law. The founding fathers established the separation of powers for good reason. Even if a President is currently breaking the law is not violating the civil liberties of Americans, there is no assurance the next President won’t. This is not a matter of being a Bush supporter or opponent, but of a basic respect for the rule of law.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a comment