The Bush Administration opposed legislation that would have given them the very power they now claim they needed, power they now claim they didn’t have under FISA. It’s because they didn’t have this power, they now claim, that they had to break the law and spy without a warrant. But this law would have given them much of the legal power they wanted. Yet they said they didn’t need it, and worse yet, that the proposed legislation was likely unconstitutional. But now we know they did it anyway.
And it was all discovered by a blogger, and now it’s a big story in Thursday’s Washington Post and LA Times. Amazing.
And when you read through the story, below, note what the administration NOW says. They claim the new legislation wouldn’t have gone far enough. Really? First, the administration said at the time that the legislation went too far and wasn’t needed, so bull.
Second, the Bush administration now is changing their story and claiming that they opposed the legislation because it wouldn’t have permitted them to snoop as much as they wanted. But back in 2002 the Bush people said that even the lesser-snooping-power in the proposed legislation was likely unconstitutional. So if the lesser power was likely unconstitutional, imagine how unconstitutional Bush’s ACTUAL domestic spying program was and is? A program that by the Bush administration’s own admission went (and goes) far beyond what the proposed proposed law would have allowed.
And what’s more, the proposed legislation that the Bush administration thought might be unconstitutional, that law applied only to the Bush administration spying on foreigners, NOT Americans. If it was likely unconstitutional for them to use the proposed law to spy on foreigners, imagine how unconstitutional that law would have been had it been applied to Americans? But the Bush warrantless spying WAS on Americans, and by their own admission went FAR beyond the proposed unconstitutional law.
So Bush chose to break the law when he had an alternative. And what’s worse, this suggests that Bush feared the Supreme Court would never let him spy on Americans the degree to which he wanted, the court would find it unconstitutional, so that’s why Bush never sought the change in the law proposed in 2002 – Bush thought it would have been struck down by the Supreme Court. So Bush chose to break the law in order to circumvent the Supreme Court enforcing the US Constitution.