Saturday, December 17, 2005


If it's True... Impeach

NSA Spying is Unconstitutional under any analysis

Just listened to President Bush's Saturday speech and boy was he angry. He should be. He had a relatively good week in which he actually admitted mistakes in the war in Iraq. He even took responsibility. While this wouldn't rehabilitate him in the eyes of many of his critics, politically it was an important move. But on the eve of Senate action on the Patriot Act, a damaging story on his repeated authorization of secret orders to spy on Americans was revealed. This is problematic.

Bush claims that he 1) had good intentions and 2) such actions were lawful. I have no doubt that he's telling the truth on the first one, but as a lawyer I have deep concerns about the second. You see there's this pesky thing called the constitution, which protects U.S. citizens from unlawful searches and seizures. It reads:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Now, through precedent, the Supreme Court has outlined some, limited exceptions to this, but there is no exception that says the President, if he thinks it is necessary, can waive the warrant requirement. If Bill Clinton did this we'd have militia's in the streets (and rightfully so). Bush is not different, regardless of his motives, his primary duty as president, which he swore to do is to uphold and defend the U.S. Constiution..which for now, includes the fourth amendment.

Five years into the war on terror, and the federal government-under Bush's leadership-has exercised the power to hold american citizens without charges indefinitely and now apparently the government can spy on us to without a warrant. Even if Bush is being benevolent about all this, it is still wrong...and rises to a degree that requires at minimal censure and at most impeachment. In the meantime his efforts have resulted in the death of the Patriot Act in the Senate. This is far from over and Bush's slowly climbing approval rating should now plunge to new lows.

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