It could not have been more timely -- with the reauthorization of the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act landing on the Senate floor after the House sanctioned the Act's perpetual enactment -- for the American people to have learned that two years ago, Bush and his Administration covertly authorized the NSA (the National Security Agency, natch) to secretly carry out surveillance of hundreds, likely thousands of people throughout the United States.
If anything was necessary to emphasize how this President and Administration have now eclipsed even the grossest abuses of the equally-paranoid President Richard Nixon and his Administration, and how they will trample on any check/balance system in place to extend the reach of government into our homes under any pretence, this is it.
Now, Bush, like Ronald Reagan and Poppa Bush before him, campaigned mightily (both campaigns) on the populist stand that the government is too big, too intrusive, and that "down-sizing" government to make it less intrusive to the lives of American citizens is a priority of this President, this Administration.
As the tragic (and needlessly ugly) Terry Schiavo case history demonstrated, there is no nook or cranny of our lives too intimate for the present Administration to ignore, and in fact insert their bull-in-a-china-shop girth into, especially if it serves their agenda (broad or opportunistic agenda-of-the-moment). This latest revelation puts paid to any notion that Bush's campaign promises were based in anything but appealing to voter prejudices.
True to the monikers applied to his environmental policies, Bush's ongoing claims to believe in 'downsizing government' is in fact the reverse of his true intentions. Bush personally ordered this inversion of standing law and Constitutional protections. He can blame no one else for this latest abuse of power to come to light.
As reported in The NY Times this week, Bush's secret presidential edict skirted standing post-Nixon era NSA rules and regs (which require only the permission of a judge for the NSA to investigate any one of us -- not a major hurdle, by NSA's own admissions) to not only allow but mandate massive spying on any designated citizens (designated by whom?). This edict includes (but is not limited to) surveillance of phone calls and peoples' homes without any evidence of criminal activity, and by Bush's order can be mobilized sans court order.
Understand, too, that the very 'rules and regulations' the Administration quickly asserted as being in place were the rules and regs the edict circumvented by design.
Thus, their 'defense' is by definition false -- another lie.
This gross violation of the Bill of Rights was also deliberately orchestrated and issued sans congressional debate, avoiding any and all judicial scrutiny and oversight.
This was another overreaching abuse of Presidential power, a secret and secretive criminal violation of our constitutional rights. It is an indefensible act, yet another blatant example of this President and Administration's sociopathic behavior, part of an ongoing and traceable pattern of behavior that simply cannot be excused, ignored, or justified.
President Bush’s personal authorization of this violation of federal wiretapping law, the Privacy Act and a violation of the Fourth Amendment cannot be palmed off as "bad intelligence," the ill behavior of subordinates, or something Bush was unaware of.
Are we left at last with no choice but to demand Congress defend the Constitution through the impeachment of President Bush?
THIS IS CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR, pure and simple.