December 19, 2005
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This story on MSNBC lays it out simply but well: Bush broke the law when he repeatedly authorized warrantless eavesdropping by the NSA within the United States. It is in violation of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, not to mention the fourth amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.
His excuses are all as false as he is. He stated that revealing his violation of law only helps terrorists by alerting them that they're being listened in on--but this is something the terrorists are already well aware of. He made the argument that getting a warrant can be "too slow," and in cases like these (all several thousand?) we have to move fast--but that's an outright lie, as FISA not only provides warrants quickly and almost without exception, but they even allow investigators to apply for retroactive warrants, meaning they can act immediately and get a FISA warrant later. He claimed that such acts are within his Constitutionally mandated powers, but that is pure bull; he is granted no such powers. He said that Congress gave him the power--but the power they granted him was clearly military, and was not carte blanche for violating any law he pleased. Bush's spray of excuses mirrors his attitude before the Iraq War, when he made the claim that the Constitution gave him the power to go to war without congressional approval. He was wrong then, and he's wrong now.
Even John Dean of Watergate fame concurs: Bush is "the first President to admit to an impeachable offense."
So will Bush be impeached? God knows he deserves it. But Republicans control the Congress, and it is highly unlikely that they would allow for or vote for an impeachment of Bush, no matter how clearly he violated the law. So the only thing that could remain would be to press the issue and shame both Bush and the GOP. In what I read as a good sign, the Republicans have not issued their usually inevitable press releases and talking points, meaning that in an election year, they may not be too eager to cover up for him--though they will just as likely not trash him, either. Only should the Democrats win back the Senate next year, then impeachment could be a real possibility. But not too likely before then.
Posted by: BGI at December 20, 2005 11:46 PM