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Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion

by TChris

TalkLeft now joins the chorus of bloggers (many of them mentioned here) calling attention to this editorial in the conservative Barron’s. Think of it as a Christmas present:

The administration is saying the president has unlimited authority to order wiretaps in the pursuit of foreign terrorists, and that the Congress has no power to overrule him. … [Attorney General Alberto] Gonzales last week declined to declassify relevant legal reviews made by the Department of Justice.

Perhaps they were researched in a Star Chamber? Putting the president above the Congress is an invitation to tyranny. The president has no powers except those specified in the Constitution and those enacted by law. …

Willful disregard of a law is potentially an impeachable offense. It is at least as impeachable as having a sexual escapade under the Oval Office desk and lying about it later. The members of the House Judiciary Committee who staged the impeachment of President Clinton ought to be as outraged at this situation. They ought to investigate it, consider it carefully and report either a bill that would change the wiretap laws to suit the president or a bill of impeachment.

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  • Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#1)
    by soccerdad on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 12:28:32 PM EST
    What happened to the Republicans claim that the rule of law was essential for our democracy to continue to flourish? The answer is of course is to deny that the law has been broken regardless of the mounds of evidence to the contrary. They have two standards one for themselves and another for everyone else.

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#2)
    by ras on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 01:14:06 PM EST
    As a non-American observing things, it seems to me that R's actually do more to protect civil liberties than do D's. Think Waco, Ruby Ridge, Elian Gonzales etc. Even on the spy-biz, Bush is doing precisely what Carter & Reagan and Clinton did, and the key figures from those eras have backed him, saying that his legal rationale is the same as theirs was. In Clinton's case, he even spied not just to prevent a dirty bomb attack, but also to gather general info by which to make policy, a weaker and less immediate need for sure. The Dems, including most of the MSM, make more noise when an R does something than when a D does the same, but the hard evidence seems to contradict them. In any event, this latest imbroglio can only lead to good: JRB for SCOTUS! Put a known civil libertarian on that court; now that's something both sides clearly agree on, and it's nice of the Dems to pave the way.

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#3)
    by Steven Sanderson on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 01:52:45 PM EST
    The Bush administration has argued that both Article II of the U.S. Constitution and the Authorization for the Use of Force give the president unlimited authority to order wiretaps. The Article II argument is the weakest of the two and could easily be disproved if it ended up in court. I don't believe the administration will pursue that angle. The AUMF argument, I believe, is more problematical and would be the administration's strongest case for it's claim of unlimited power. The administration claims that the Congressional AUMF gives Bush a mandate to wage war against terrorism and terrorists anywhere and everywhere using every available resource. Extending the Bush administration's AUMF line of thinking, couldn't Bush eventually suspend the 2008 election because he's mandated to pursue terrorists and he's not finished, therefore he's obligated to remain in power until the job is done?

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#4)
    by Sailor on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 02:27:21 PM EST
    So ras, who isn't an American, decides who is the best defender of Americans. Next! Forget Cronkite, if bush has lost the WSJ and Forbes and Barron's he's toast. Impeach him, but wait until we indict all of his co-conspirators first. Voting fraud, bribery, perjury, violating the Constitution (in every sense of the word), it should be a no-brainer to imprison the whole admin.

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#5)
    by ras on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 02:38:01 PM EST
    Steven Sanderson, Carter & Clinton both defended the selfsame Article II powers, which certainly strengthens the case for them. Also, the word "wiretap" may be overly precis,e as it is emerging that the activities in q were not actually "wiretaps" in the legal sense of the term (tho possibly in the colloquial). All, Short of impeachment, which looks more like a wet dream of the Left and would backfire politically as surely as it did on the R's who wanted to impeach Clinton, what remedies are available, even if the whole case made it to SCOTUS and a ruling that the taps were not legal? Just a finger-wag and a "don't do it again?" While we're on the subject, it's interesting to see that the Left are now also conflating this issue with the police montoring for radiation in order to prevent a nuke or a dirty-bomb attack. Do you really expect to win with that, politically and re-take the House? Really? Wow.

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#6)
    by soccerdad on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 02:46:00 PM EST
    Ras, You are probably right, morality, right and wrong and accountability are all so quaint concepts in the era of Bush. Who needs them. All that matters is political consequences. Truly pathetic.

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#7)
    by ras on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 03:03:42 PM EST
    Actually, SD, I wasn't looking for holier-than-thou tongue-clucking. It was a serious q. Still is. Any of you legal eagles out there know?

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#8)
    by desertswine on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 03:15:14 PM EST
    Shorter ras: the usual "Well Clinton did it" argument. You should hope that the Americans don't find a vast pool of oil beneath your rapidly melting tundra.

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#9)
    by profmarcus on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 03:24:24 PM EST
    sorry, but i ain't lettin' go of the echelon angle... echelon's been around too long (1947) and is simply too big to be ignored or dismissed as an innocuous element of the clinton administration (as many liberal bloggers have done)... i believe the most staggering revelations about this program (and the bush administration's use and abuse of it) are yet to come... i shudder to think of what they might be...
    The volume of information harvested from telecommunication data and voice networks, without court-approved warrants, is much larger than the White House has acknowledged, the officials said. It was collected by tapping directly into some of the American telecommunication system's main arteries, they said. As part of the program approved by President Bush for domestic surveillance without warrants, the N.S.A. has gained the cooperation of American telecommunications companies to obtain backdoor access to streams of domestic and international communications, the officials said.
    many liberal bloggers have pegged this program as dating from the clinton administration and claimed that, during clinton's tenure at least, it was operated fully within the law... my understanding of echelon, as supported by aclu and european parliament research, is that, one, it has been evolving since WWII and that, two, it has operated outside of legal constraints and sans oversight since its inception... let me quickly don my tin-foil hat and say that i am fully inclined to believe the worst and, unfortunately, i don't associate extra-legal surveillance activities by the u.s. government with a specific political party... i strongly recommend that, as responsible citizens, you conduct your own research into an enormous operation that hasn't received nearly the public scrutiny it deserves... here's a snippet from an echelon review by Duncan Campbell, author of the European Parliament's 1999 "Interception Capabilities 2000" report...
    The system was established under a secret 1947 "UKUSA Agreement," which brought together the British and American systems, personnel and stations. To this was soon joined the networks of three British commonwealth countries, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Later, other countries including Norway, Denmark, Germany and Turkey signed secret sigint agreements with the United States and became "third parties" participants in the UKUSA network. Besides integrating their stations, each country appoints senior officials to work as liaison staff at the others' headquarters. The United States operates a Special US Liaison Office (SUSLO) in London and Cheltenham, while a SUKLO official from GCHQ has his own suite of offices inside NSA headquarters at Fort Meade, between Washington and Baltimore.
    the sheer scope and secrecy of echelon is hard to comprehend...
    The scale and significance of the global surveillance system has been transformed since 1980. The arrival of low cost wideband international communications has created a wired world. But few people are aware that the first global wide area network (WAN) was not the internet, but the international network connecting sigint stations and processing centres. The network is connected over transoceanic cables and space links. Most of the capacity of the American and British military communications satellites, Milstar and Skynet, is devoted to relaying intelligence information. It was not until the mid 1990s that the public internet became larger than the secret internet that connects surveillance stations. Britain's sigint agency GCHQ now openly boasts on its [extern] web site that it helps operate "one of the largest WANs [Wide Area Networks} in the world" and that "all GCHQ systems are linked together on the largest LAN in Europe ... connected to other sites around the world". The same pages also claim that "the immense size and sheer power of GCHQ's supercomputing architecture is difficult to imagine".
    here's what the brits have to say about their technology... you can only imagine what their u.s. counterpart would have to say about THEIR capabilities...
    It's hard for an outsider to imagine the immense size and sheer power of GCHQ's supercomputing architecture. Our systems range from simple PC networks to the latest supercomputer complexes. Technologists at GCHQ will encounter the latest state of the art Cray systems, Tandem based storage and high-end Sun workstations. D-RAID (Distributed Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) architectures are used for the storage of very large amounts of data. Indeed, GCHQ has one of the largest long-term bulk near line storage systems in the world.
    http://takeitpersonally.blogspot.com/2005/12/more-spying-revelations-and-echelon.html

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#10)
    by scarshapedstar on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 03:49:40 PM EST
    Yeah, I agree, this all pales in comparison to Elian Gonzales. Wtf?

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#11)
    by soccerdad on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 04:23:33 PM EST
    Similar fears are voiced by Bruce Fein, a former associate deputy attorney general under President Ronald Reagan. Fein is very much a member of the right. He once published a column arguing that "President George W. Bush should pack the United States Supreme Court with philosophical clones of Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas and defeated nominee Robert H. Bork." Suddenly, though, Fein is talking about Bush as a threat to America. "President Bush presents a clear and present danger to the rule of law," he wrote in the right-wing Washington Times on Dec. 20. "He cannot be trusted to conduct the war against global terrorism with a decent respect for civil liberties and checks against executive abuses. Congress should swiftly enact a code that would require Mr. Bush to obtain legislative consent for every counterterrorism measure that would materially impair individual freedoms." What alarms Fein is not only that Bush has broken laws but also that he has repeatedly shown contempt for the separation of powers.
    Link

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#12)
    by ras on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 05:56:07 PM EST
    Desertswine, We have long since established that Canada has larger reserves than even Saudi Arabia. We knew that over a generation ago, but it wasn't economical on a long-term basis till recently. Better techniques for extraction (e.g. in-situ steaming) have also lowered the expected costs. That said, no one here is digging foxholes waiting for an invasion. We'll sell you the stuff at market price. Excepting for offsides at hockey games - didn't somebody here recently (and correctly) point out that LaFleur's tying goal against Boston was offside? - paranoid fantasy is kept in reasonable check north of da borda. But yeah, the Habs used to get a lot of calls they really didn't deserve, kinda like the Lakers at home these days. All, Nuff said. Whatever our differences, I sincerely wish everyone Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays or whatever it is you prefer, and all the best.

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#13)
    by MikeDitto on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 06:24:53 PM EST
    Ras: Ruby Ridge happened under Bush I, not Clinton. Despite whatever the right-wing media and web sites might say, August 1992 was Bush I, not Clinton. And yes, the right-winf sites repeatedly, over and over, ad nauseum repeat the falsehood that Ruby Ridge happened under Clinton, so it's not really your fault. Just remember not everything you see over there in Right Blogistan is true. If anything.

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#15)
    by MikeDitto on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 06:31:52 PM EST
    Oh and ras, have a merry Christmas, a happy Chanukah, a kwazie Kwanzaa, a tip-top Tet and a solemn, dignified Ramadan.

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#16)
    by ras on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 08:56:28 PM EST
    Michael Ditto, Thx. Merry Christmas to you, too, and btw, excellent job on the site makeover. I know a little about the topic and can see the little things, as well as the big, that you did right. Charlie, Are you manna sent from heaven to make me smile, or what? It's working! A special Merry Christmas to you, too, shmedrik. :)

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#17)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Dec 25, 2005 at 01:05:41 AM EST
    deleted. please don't just advertise your blog here.

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#18)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Dec 25, 2005 at 05:53:19 AM EST
    Think Waco, Ruby Ridge, Elian Gonzales etc. RR was when Bush was in power. Many of the Republicans wanted to separate Elian from his dad because of political reasons. Anyway, these two incidents a case does not make. Even on the spy-biz, Bush is doing precisely what Carter & Reagan and Clinton did, and the key figures from those eras have backed him, saying that his legal rationale is the same as theirs was. well no they didn't. This has been covered by various parties. In Clinton's case, he even spied not just to prevent a dirty bomb attack, but also to gather general info by which to make policy, a weaker and less immediate need for sure. Spying is not a problem per se. The police do it all the time. You have to do it pursuant to the law though. The Dems, including most of the MSM, make more noise when an R does something than when a D does the same, but the hard evidence seems to contradict them. Clinton was often attacked ... repeatedly ... from your vantage point, you apparently didn't watch much news In any event, this latest imbroglio can only lead to good: JRB for SCOTUS! at least the "right" civil liberties, hmm?

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#19)
    by MikeDitto on Sun Dec 25, 2005 at 08:42:43 AM EST
    Thanks ras, I can't take all the credit--it was definitely a collaborative effort, but I'm pretty proud. The biggest things in my opinion were "under the hood" that make the blog easier for Jeralyn to manage, and eliminated the performance problems that people were having posting comments during busy times. Anyway, all this talk about Ruby Ridge and Waco and Oklahoma City led me to wonder how these groups are going to react now that the Fourth Amendment has been thrown out. they were pretty pissed before...What are they thinking now?

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#20)
    by Edger on Sun Dec 25, 2005 at 09:15:58 AM EST
    I like science fiction. It's my favorite literary genre because it is a literature of speculation, possibilities and of thought experiments. In many cases because of those attributes it can sometimes predict or describe the general outlines of future scenarios and future societal needs. Watching Bush's assaults on reason, intelligence, thoughtfulness, freedom, rights, and the constitution has lately begun to remind me strongly of Frank Herbert's story "The Dosadi Experiment", and particularly his character Jorj X. McKie, an agent for The Bureau of Sabotage (BuSab):
    In Herbert's fiction, sometime in the far future, government has become terrifyingly efficient. Red tape no longer exists: laws are conceived of, passed, funded, and executed within hours, rather than months. The bureaucratic machinery has become a juggernaut, rolling over human concerns and welfare with terrible speed, jerking the universe of sentients one way, then another, threatening to destroy everything in a fit of spastic reactions. In short, the speed of government has gone beyond sentient control (in this fictional universe, many alien species co-exist, with a common definition of sentience marking their status as equals). BuSab begins as a terrorist organization, whose sole purpose is to frustrate the workings of government and to damage the incredible level of efficient order in the universe in order to give sentients a chance to reflect upon changes and deal with them. Having saved sentiency from its government, BuSab is officially recognized as a necessary check on the power of government. First a corp, then a bureau, BuSab has legally recognized powers to interfere in the workings of any world, of any species, of any government, answerable only to themselves (though in practice, they are always threatened with dissolution by the governments they watch). They act as a monitor of, and a conscience for, the collective sentiency, watching for signs of anti-sentient behaviour and preserving the essential dignity of individuals.
    Maybe we need a "Bureau of Sabotage" to throw a wrench into the plans of BushCo and PNAC? Maybe Talkleft, and others, are a BuSab of sorts? That's my contribution and thought from "The Edge" for the day. Merry Christmas everyone. And Jeralyn... thank you for authoring Talkleft.

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#21)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Dec 25, 2005 at 09:54:56 AM EST
    I rather suspect that the more the left calls for impeachment, the lower their chances of gaining ground in November of 2006 will be. The 1998 hearings were seen as stupid by the public; any such movement now will be seen as a distant echo of the anti-war copperheads of 1864. But go ahead, marginalize yourselves :)

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#22)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Dec 25, 2005 at 10:13:37 AM EST
    Yes, impeaching someone for lying about and covering up oral sex will be deemed stupid by the public now that we actually have important things to worry about. I'm not sure this means impeachment per se is deemed the same. Anyway, of course, even Conyers is mainly talking about censure and investigations. Specter is calling for investigations and unofficially is "censuring" the President for his actions. Let's see if being on the defensive on multiple fronts will be a benefit to the Republicans.

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#23)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Sun Dec 25, 2005 at 10:15:38 AM EST
    JR...stay on topic. This is about right-wingers calling for impeachment.

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#24)
    by Edger on Sun Dec 25, 2005 at 10:45:17 AM EST
    On a lighter note, I think Bill Maher erlier this year said just about everything that needs to be said about getting rid of Bush, when he described Dubya as "a catastrophe that walks like a man", and said we need, if not impeachment, at least a recall election. Yes George, God, Bill Maher, and now Barron's, are speaking to you. Listen closely George, because what they're saying is: "Take a hint!"

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#26)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Sun Dec 25, 2005 at 08:31:37 PM EST
    ...or washed his upper lip. "ras comes from the polite part of Canada" You mean the part where they put manners before morals, obviously.

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#27)
    by jimcee on Sun Dec 25, 2005 at 09:03:54 PM EST
    deleted

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#25)
    by soccerdad on Sun Dec 25, 2005 at 09:04:33 PM EST
    deleted

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#28)
    by Edger on Mon Dec 26, 2005 at 06:58:34 AM EST
    Breaking the law (FISA) and violating the fouth amendment are impeachable offenses. FISA provides a 72 hour period after beginning a surveillance in which Bush can obtain court authorization. He has certainly created huge problems politically for himself by not doing so. He's a pretty politically astute guy, and the people around him aren't stupid. They may not be nice people but certainly stupidity is not one of their failings. What's going on here? Apart from the probability that he sees himself as above the law, what possible reason could Bush have, for not taking advantage of this and staying within the law? Alan Dershowitz suggests a reason:
    A court order puts the name of the person surveilled on the record. So if Bush misuses this power to spy on his political rivals, it will be documented. If Bush is seen to spy on anyone who criticizes him, from the publisher of The New York Times to a private citizen, enough people may care about their own freedom of speech to insist that Congress impeach him before he does it to them... Nixon's illegal surveillance of his critics was one of the crimes he was accused of before resigning in 1974.


    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#29)
    by soccerdad on Mon Dec 26, 2005 at 07:54:11 AM EST
    What's going on here? Apart from the probability that he sees himself as above the law, what possible reason could Bush have, for not taking advantage of this and staying within the law?
    Another possibility is that the program was widespread and unfocused, i.e. it was more of a data mining activity. So they couldn't get cort orders since there was no one specific in mind. You monitor everything and look for key words article

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#30)
    by Edger on Mon Dec 26, 2005 at 08:13:08 AM EST
    You monitor everything and look for key words
    Yes, it's likely that is the method. But Dershowitz's idea raises the possibility that under the cover of that data mining there may have been some specific targets the administration also had in mind. If they look for all instances of specific words or phrases, then later match against specific people or organizations, they can claim they were only monitoring key words, not people.

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#31)
    by soccerdad on Mon Dec 26, 2005 at 08:20:09 AM EST
    Edger - that does seem like a possibility, either way its unsupervised, unchecked snooping on American citizens

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#32)
    by Edger on Mon Dec 26, 2005 at 08:22:43 AM EST
    Soccerdad, Impeachable too...

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#33)
    by Edger on Mon Dec 26, 2005 at 10:13:46 AM EST
    Soccerdad, The LA Times article you linked to says:
    This month it was disclosed that the Bush administration has circumvented the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor hundreds of Americans since the Sept. 11 attacks without any warrants. Bush and his inner circle said the practice is limited to occasions when an individual in the U.S. is communicating with someone overseas who has a known link to Al Qaeda, other terrorist groups or their supporters.
    The program is also described as more widespread "data mining", as you suggested. How, I wonder, could it be "limited to occasions when an individual in the U.S. is communicating with someone overseas who has a known link", except after the fact? Would they not have to look at all the data collected to determine who to "limit" it to (of course by then it would be too late for "limiting"), and would curiosity not "naturally" lead them to look at other communications someone such as the publisher of The New York Times may have had with say, story and/or fact sources within Al Jazeera, which would have made him "an individual in the U.S. is communicating with someone overseas who has a known link to Al Qaeda"? I have a hard time believing their "limiting" excuse. They've been caught with their hand in the cookie jar. I think they want all the cookies they can get their hands on, and they just couldn't restrain themselves.

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#34)
    by soccerdad on Mon Dec 26, 2005 at 10:32:04 AM EST
    Edger, You are right on the mark. With data mining techniques they are looking for words or phrases/ My guess is that would be phase 1. Having identified some "hits" in phase 1 they might then monitor specific IP addresses more closely to determine a "pattern", combined with research on who the IP address belonged to. Any justification would then be after the fact. Of course as long as they are taking the effort to do this, they could be monitoring for all different communications besides those between americans and foreign parties. Its not a slippery slope, its a drop off a cliff. When you combine these revelations with those that the FBI is monitoring peace groups etc, its hard not to conclude that monitoring of the US population is an aim of this administration. And wasn;t there a "total information awareness" project. So their aim is clear monitoring of all "enemies".

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#35)
    by Edger on Mon Dec 26, 2005 at 10:52:48 AM EST
    Let's hope enough GOP Senators and Congressman have enough sense after all this to realize that they can be both self-serving for the '06 elections, and do the right thing; distance themselves from this sinking ship, and impeach bush/cheney.

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#36)
    by Edger on Mon Dec 26, 2005 at 11:51:57 AM EST
    Socerdad: Its not a slippery slope, its a drop off a cliff. It does sort of remind of Wile E. Coyote going off the edge of a cliff in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, doesn't it?
    The Coyote could stop anytime -- IF he was not a fanatic. (Repeat: "A fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim." - George Santayana) Of course he can't quit; he's certain that the next attempt is sure to succeed. He's the personality type that twelve-step programs are made for. Of course, first you have to want to quit.
    -----
    "When the president says he is staying the course it reminds me of the man who has just jumped from the Empire State Building. Half-way down he says, I am still on course. Well, I would not want to be on course with a man who will lie splattered in the street. I would like to be someone who could change the course..." --Lt. Gen. William Odom (US Army, ret)


    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#37)
    by Edger on Mon Dec 26, 2005 at 01:08:28 PM EST
    Thirty years ago, Senator Frank Church, the Idaho Democrat who was then chairman of the select committee on intelligence, investigated the agency and came away stunned. "That capability at any time could be turned around on the American people," he said in 1975, "and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter. There would be no place to hide." He added that if a dictator ever took over, the N.S.A. "could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back." But today, with people expressing their innermost thoughts in e-mail messages, exposing their medical and financial records to the Internet, and chatting constantly on cellphones, the agency virtually has the ability to get inside a person's mind. James Bamford, The New York Times December 25, 2005 The Agency That Could Be Big Brother


    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#38)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Mon Dec 26, 2005 at 01:59:46 PM EST
    Which leads me to wonder if Bush didn't admit to these snooping activities as a J. Edgar Hoover-like warning shot to potential critics to think twice about coming after him. The last act of a desparate tyrant, if you will.

    Re: Barron's: Impeachment Deserves Discussion (none / 0) (#39)
    by Edger on Mon Dec 26, 2005 at 02:18:40 PM EST
    Exactly, Ernesto. You nailed it...