Nearly to a blogger, righties are saying damn the Constitution.
One of the High Priestesses of Totalitarianism herself, Michelle Malkin, dismisses those of us who are concerned about a clear violation of the 4th Amendment as “civil liberties Chicken Littles.” “The real headline news is not that President Bush took extraordinary measures to protect Americans in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks,” she wrote, “but that the blabbermouths at the Times chose to disclose classified information in a pathetically obvious bid to move the Iraqi elections off the front pages.”
And, of course, the other reason the Times pushed this non-story, according to Malkin, was to promote James Risen’s book about the CIA and the Bush Administration, to be published by The Free Press in January 2006.
One big flaw in this theory is that The Free Press is an imprint of Simon & Schuster, which is the publishing operation of Viacom Inc. It has no ties to the New York Times (although it does publish Wall Street Journal Books). So there’s nothin’ in it financially for the New York Times. Ergo, no compelling reason for the Times to push the book, which isn’t mentioned in the story, anyway.
And the same story appears in the Washington Post, by Dan Eggen. Does Eggen have a book coming out, too?
Scott Lemieux at Lawyers, Guns & Money has a good one-paragraph summation of the rightie position.
You’ll like this: Malkin writes,
Civil liberties extremists pretend there are no tradeoffs, no costs, to putting legal absolutism over national security.
Civil liberties extremists? Legal absolutism? What Bush signed off on was a bleeping violation of the 4th Amendment!
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.
Ain’t no exceptions provided for. The federal government does not have the authority to spy on citizens without a warrant. End of story.
Update: See also — a John Bolton connection? At Kos, Susan G writes, “This is about the very foundations of democracy: Is the government our servant or our master? And is the president, who is elected to execute our laws, allowed to suspend them?”