Rightie apologists for the Bush Administration today are churning out copious amounts of verbiage to cover Bush’s ass. Here’s a good example at The Volokh Conspiracy. The writer, Orrin Kerr, piles on nouns, verbs, prepositional phrases, parenthetical citations — enough rhetorical fog to hide Cleveland — to present the appearance of an argument that spying on Americans without a warrant is perfectly legal.
This sort of argument by volume works nicely on righties, I’ve noticed. And they’ll all link to this shit and repeat it, even if they don’t quite understand it. There must be a pony in there somewhere.
And I say that if what Bush is doing is perfectly legal, then the Bill of Rights ain’t worth the paper it’s written on. As John Aravosis noted yesterday, if we applied the same hairsplitting analysis to the Second Amendment, some future President could arbitrarily cancel the Second Amendment and start confiscating firearms without due process of law. In the name of national security, of course.
End of argument. If you aren’t persuaded, several of the links below will lead you to more detailed explanations of the law.
Eugene Robinson, “Imperial Assumptions”
E.J. Dionne, “Their Own Patriot Act”
George Will, “Why Didn’t He Ask Congress?”
Richard Cohen, “Enough. Let’s Try ‘Accountability'”
WaPo editorial, “Unauthorized Snooping”
NY Times editorial, “The Fog of False Choices”
David Cole, “Bush’s Illegal Spying”
Boston Globe editorial, “Taking Liberties”
Charlie Savage, “Bush Bypassed Compliant Court on Wiretapping”
H.D.S. Greenway, “Fear Distorting the Rule of Law“