When the story first broke that Bush had authorized intercepts without the use of a warrant, I was really quite surprised. But his assertion that it was legal made me want to sit back for a little while to find out what the basis of his assertion was. So far, Bush has not adequately done so, but as shown in the link above, it has been done by several former members of the Clinton administration. Kudos to them for being intellectually honest enough to admit it, since they could have sat quietly by while the political maelstorm brings down the President.
Matt at Left inthe West is saying that the violations must result in impeachment. But Wulfgar is in really high dudgeon about the betrayal of this President. His outrage reminds me of the movie Casablanca, with the famous line: "Messieur Rick, I am shock-ed, shock-ed to discover that there is gambling going on here." Whereupon, a minion brings out his winnings, and the good French Captain profusely expreses his thanks. Wulfgar seems shock-ed that Bush has betrayed his investment of trust. Yeah right.
But the best line is in his comments, where someone says that they would rather have 1000 9-11s rather than have a violation of their civil liberties. While I am sure that this is hyperbole, I am also sure that the writer is not counting himself among the 3 million casualties that would occur in order for him to have an illicit Internet affair without government observation of his activities.
Matt also seems to be making a lame attempt to exonerate Pelosi and Reid by saying that they couldn't reveal the program without breaking the law. Hmmm, a quick review shows that the heirarchy of laws is: 1. The Constitution, which all public officers are required to uphold and defend; 2. The laws as passed by Congress and signed into law; 3. Presidential orders; 4. Administrative decisions and; 5. Precedent.
Now, while Pelosi is a box of rocks with a lot of makeup, if she felt that it violated the Constitution, she had an immediate duty to correct it, laws be damned. Her and Rockefeller's lamentations that they were afraid to break the law ring hollow if they thought it was a violation of the Constitution. Perhaps I am being cynical, but I see this as nothing more than another example of the use of partisan politics to drag down a President in the middle of a war rather than principled disagreement. That damned Rockefeller memo keeps coming to mind even though he has denied it, the Democratic Party actions do seem to be conforming with its outlines.
What would really interesting, is if the MSM is able to fan the outrage to the point that the Democrats are able to retake the Senate and the House and actually institute impeachment proceedings. If you thought that it was okay to lie about sex, just imagine the defense of it being okay to spy to save lives. Since the program has been blown, Bush would be able to show any and all of evidence that the intercepts were able to thwart terrorist attacks.
A piece of advice for the Democrats: Learn from your enemie's mistakes. You don't want to get caught up in the tar baby of impeachment.