Carol Platt Liebau: A Moment For Reflection

Saturday, December 24, 2005

A Moment For Reflection

As we begin to celebrate one of the holiest days on the Christian calendar, let's pause for just a moment to consider this piece by William Kristol, which calls for all of us to remember why President Bush took every means he could to ensure that further Al Qaeda attacks in the wake of 9/11 could be detected and prevented.

Consider all the families who lost loved ones on that terrible day -- who will, tomorrow, be observing Christmas or Hannukah without them for the fifth time. It's easy, now, in a country feeling more secure by the day, to dismiss the measures that have, quite possibly, thwarted attacks that would otherwise have meant even more families spending holidays without their loved ones.

Here's a pre-Christmas roundup on the warrantless surveillance issue: The Justice Department letter can be found here; an excellent legal analysis by Powerline's John Hinderaker here. Hugh Hewitt interviewed liberal law professor Cass Sunstein, and the transcript is over at Radioblogger (Sunstein's own analysis of the issue is here).


Blogger stackja1945 said...

Pearl Harbor and 9/11 show what happens when Eternal vigilance is relaxed when facing fanatics. Lincoln saved the union but a fanatic was allowed to end the possible peaceful reconstruction.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Carol, there's another item that should go on your wiretap round-up. In the on line version of (that left-wing moonbat publication) Barron's, there is an editorial that discusses the true import of what is transpiring and ends up mentioning the "i" word.

"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. President Bush is stretching the power of commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy by indicating that he can order the military and its agencies, such as the National Security Agency, to do whatever furthers the defense of the country from terrorists, regardless of whether actual force is involved.

Surely the 'strict constructionists' on the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary eventually will point out what a stretch this is. The most important presidential responsibility under Article II is that he must 'take care that the laws be faithfully executed.' That includes following the requirements of laws that limit executive power. There's not much fidelity in an executive who debates and lobbies Congress to shape a law to his liking and then goes beyond its writ.

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.

It is important to be clear that an impeachment case, if it comes to that, would not be about wiretapping, or about a possible Constitutional right not to be wiretapped. It would be about the power of Congress to set wiretapping rules by law, and it is about the obligation of the president to follow the rules in the Acts that he and his predecessors signed into law."

8:50 PM  

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