Friday, December 16, 2005

President Authorizes Criminal Conduct

That's basically what we have here. The preznit and his supporters will just bleat that the war on terra, blah blah blah, but we're basically just back to Nixon's old "if the president does it it's not illegal." The preznit's people argue that the authorization to "fight the war on terra" give him the power to do anything he wanted to in pursuit of that goal, even if it violated laws and treaties.

The law governing clandestine surveillance in the United States, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, prohibits conducting electronic surveillance not authorized by statute. A government agent can try to avoid prosecution if he can show he was "engaged in the course of his official duties and the electronic surveillance was authorized by and conducted pursuant to a search warrant or court order of a court of competent jurisdiction," according to the law.

"This is as shocking a revelation as we have ever seen from the Bush administration," said Martin, who has been sharply critical of the administration's surveillance and detention policies. "It is, I believe, the first time a president has authorized government agencies to violate a specific criminal prohibition and eavesdrop on Americans."

Is the presidency above the law? That's what they're claiming.