"... listen to what the President said on June 9, 2005: “Law enforcement officers need a federal judge’s permission to wiretap a foreign terrorist’s phone, a federal judge’s permission to track his calls, or a federal judge’s permission to search his property. Officers must meet strict standards to use any of these tools. And these standards are fully consistent with the Constitution of the U.S.” Now that the public knows about the domestic spying program, he has had to change course. He has looked around for arguments to cloak his actions. And all of them are completely threadbare. "
 "The Attorney General knew ... about the NSA program when he sought the Senate’s approval for his nomination to be Attorney General. He wanted the Senate and the American people to think that the President had not acted on the extreme legal theory that the President has the power as Commander in Chief to disobey the criminal laws of this country. But he had. The Attorney General had some explaining to do, and he didn’t do it yesterday. Instead he parsed words, arguing that what he said was truthful because he didn’t believe that the President’s actions violated the law."
AG Gonzales correctly maintains that the program is LEGAL, and therefore his answer to the Feingold question during his confrimation hearing IS ENTIRELY TRUTHFUL!
Again, it comes down to whether or not you accept the fact that we are really at war, (a fact made UNDENIABLE by the fact that the 2001 AUMF clearly states we are at war! Well, it's undeniable to everyone except those afflicted with BDS, evidently). Bush has NO MORE violated the criminal law by ordering the NSA (part of the DoD) to intercept enemy communications, then soldiers who kill al Qaeda have committed murder. SURE: If a soldier were to shoot an innocent, non-threatening US person in the USA, then he'd be A MURDERER. But the soldiers - and law enforcement officers - who kill al Qaeda in the course of their duly assigned duties are not murderers. The rules of war are different than the rules which govern criminal conduct in peacetime.
 "... this administration reacts to anyone who questions this illegal program by saying that those of us who demand the truth and stand up for our rights and freedoms have a pre-9/11 view of the world. In fact, the President has a pre-1776 view of the world. "
And let's remember that FISA is merely a statutary law, NOT an amendment to the constitution! The war powers Bush claims to have, have been claimed by nearly every president since Washington, and certainly by EVERY war-time president. These powers have been repeatedly UPHELD by every court which has ruled on them - including SCOTUS and the FISCR. If Bush is a "King George" than so were Truman and FDR and Wilson and Lincoln and Adams and Washington.
I think Bush is like those presidents and that Feingold, and the leakers and the NYTIMES are BENEDICT ARNOLDS. The extraordinary POTUS/CiC war-time powers Bush has utilized since 9/11 PALE in comparison to what FDR did, but you'll never hear a Leftie say FDR should have been IMPEACHED, do you!?!
[Aside: Remember, assuming a "BENEDICT ARNOLD position" is NOT a novel thing for Leftie Dems DURING WAR-TIME. Remember Genghis Kerry's "Winter Soldier" testimony to the Senate in 1971?! He was a traitor too!]
 "The Attorney General yesterday was unable to give me one example of a President who, since 1978 when FISA was passed, has authorized warrantless wiretaps outside of FISA."
 The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was passed in 1978 to create a secret court, made up of judges who develop national security expertise, to issue warrants for surveillance of terrorists and spies. These are the judges from whom the Bush Administration has obtained thousands of warrants since 9/11. The Administration has almost never had a warrant request rejected by those judges. They have used the FISA Court thousands of times, but at the same time they assert that FISA is an “old law” or “out of date” and they can’t comply with it. Clearly they can and do comply with it – except when they don’t. Then they just arbitrarily decide to go around these judges, and around the law.
 "I asked the Attorney General about this, he could point me to no court – not the Supreme Court or any other court – that has considered whether, after FISA was enacted, the President nonetheless had the authority to bypass it and authorize warrantless wiretaps. Not one court. The Administration’s effort to find support for what it has done in snippets of other court decisions would be laughable if this issue were not so serious."
In fact, I'd argue that these decisions taken together constitute a "SUPER-DUPER PRECEDENT" if you ask me! (Heh.) Therefore, even though it is true that no court has SPECIFICALLY ruled on this matter, the precedents are clear - STARE DECISIS is clear.
 "Finally, the president has tried to claim that informing a handful of congressional leaders, the so-called Gang of Eight, somehow excuses breaking the law. Of course, several of these members said they weren’t given the full story. And all of them were prohibited from discussing what they were told. So the fact that they were informed under these extraordinary circumstances does not constitute congressional oversight, and it most certainly does not constitute congressional approval of the program. Indeed, it doesn’t even comply with the National Security Act, which requires the entire memberships of the House and Senate Intelligence Committee to be “fully and currently informed of the intelligence activities of the United States.”
UPDATE: ANKLE BITING PUNDITS has more on the hearings. More on the difference between law enforcement surveillance and war-time sigint HERE, (hat tip LAURA INGRAHAM). ANOTHER FISKING HERE AT CONFEDERATE YANKEE.
I think these Fiskings are importnt: Rants like Feingold's may very well become the Dem/Left's mantra this fall - if we don't dispense with it now.
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