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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I'm the law

The rationalizations of the Bush administration for its egregious violations of citizens rights through the use of warrantless spying would be outrageous if they were not so commonplace from the most lawless President in American history.

Bush is making Richard Nixon look like a piker when it comes to his assault on civil rights. Not only are potential al Qaeda sympathizers under investigation, so are animal rights activists. And while there is no denying that some members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have overstepped the bounds of protest, they are not in the same league as those who would bomb buildings.

But the FBI's rationalizations -- and those of Bush and Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez -- are stunning in their over-reach, and even some former Bushies agree.
"In times of crisis I think you have to explore, use every capability and explore every option," said Roger Cressey, who was principal deputy to the White House counterterrorism chief during Bush's first term. "But past those, in the day-to-day operations when there is no imminent threat, you need to revisit procedures and structures in place to ensure proper oversight."
Especially when you have a court with the record of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Here is a secret court that acts as a rubber stamp, yet the Bushies find it "cumbersome" to fill out some forms and attempt to defend their actions which stand in direct opposition to constitutional protections against unwarranted search and seizure.


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