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Bush Says Surveillance Legal and Necessary

“It’s amazing that people say to me, `Well, he’s just breaking the law” the president says.

President Bush addresses the crowd during the 142nd Landon Lecture Monday, Jan. 23, 2006 at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Well, it’s somewhat amazing to me–as well as other Americans I hope and believe–that the president has been authorizing the spying, through use of unwarranted wire taps, on lawful American citizens and doesn’t seem to even understand the public’s objections. However, someone ‘gets’ the negativity that the government spying on American citizens potrays as there’s suddenly a new buzz-label for it, they’re now referring to it as the Terrorist Surveillance Program.

When this story first became public I heard White House and administration officials claim that the president had constitutional authority to order the surveillance of American citizens without judicial warrant oversight.

That sounded firm and official, who could challenge the constitution? Except that nowhere [I can find] within our constitution (and I’m assuming they meant the American Constitution) are such powers granted to a president. Plus, officials and other defenders of the president’s actions are no longer speaking in terms of ‘constitutional authority’ but rather claiming that the congressional resolution passed after September 11th, which authorized the president to use force in the fight against terrorism, gives him the authority for this surveillance program since it didn’t specifically say that he couldn’t?

Let me repeat this idea, as it sounds an awful lot like a twisted “it depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is” to me.

The president says that because congress authorized the use of force to fight terrorists, and when doing so didn’t specifically say that the authorization to use force against terrorists WOULD NOT exclude the violation of lawful American’s civil liberties, it’s fair to conclude (ass-u-me would seem more accurate) that congress meant the president COULD completely ignore American’s constitutional rights and protections as he sees fit. Got that?

In other (simple language) words, it’s not breaking the law since congress failed to say it would be. Never mind that the laws are pre-existing and considered valid and important to most rational Americans. If congress didn’t say ‘act within the law’ then the president doesn’t have to, period.

Now, I ask Mr. John Q. Public, how can any of us argue with that kind of logic?

Technorati Tags: Bush, spying, wire taps

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Posted by Scott Bannon on January 23, 2006.

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