- Caught in gratuitous and illegal spying on American citizens,
the Bush administration has defended its illegal activity and set the Justice
(sic) Department on the trail of the person or persons who informed the
New York Times of Bush's violation of law. Note the astounding paradox:
The Bush administration is caught red-handed in blatant illegality and
responds by trying to arrest the patriot who exposed the administration's
- Bush has actually declared it treasonous to reveal his
illegal behavior! His propagandists, who masquerade as news organizations,
have taken up the line: To reveal wrong-doing by the Bush administration
is to give aid and comfort to the enemy.
- Compared to Spygate, Watergate was a kindergarten picnic.
The Bush administration's lies, felonies, and illegalities have revealed
it to be a criminal administration with a police state mentality and police
state methods. Now Bush and his attorney general have gone the final step
and declared Bush to be above the law. Bush aggressively mimics Hitler's
claim that defense of the realm entitles him to ignore the rule of law.
- Bush's acts of illegal domestic spying are gratuitous
because there are no valid reasons for Bush to illegally spy. The Foreign
Intelligence Services Act gives Bush all the power he needs to spy on terrorist
suspects. All the administration is required to do is to apply to a secret
FISA court for warrants. The Act permits the administration to spy first
and then apply for a warrant, should time be of the essence.
- The problem is that Bush has totally ignored the law
and the court. Why would President Bush ignore the law and the FISA court?
It is certainly not because the court in its three decades of existence
was uncooperative. According to attorney Martin Garbus (New York Observer,
12/28/05), the secret court has issued more warrants than all federal district
judges combined, only once denying a warrant.
- Why, then, has the administration created another scandal
for itself on top of the WMD, torture, hurricane, and illegal detention
- There are two possible reasons.
- One reason is that the Bush administration is being used
to concentrate power in the executive. The old conservative movement, which
honors the separation of powers, has been swept away. Its place has been
taken by a neoconservative movement that worships executive power.
- The other reason is that the Bush administration could
not go to the FISA secret court for warrants because it was not spying
for legitimate reasons and, therefore, had to keep the court in the dark
about its activities.
- What might these illegitimate reasons be? Could it be
that the Bush administration used the spy apparatus of the US government
in order to influence the outcome of the presidential election?
- Could we attribute the feebleness of the Democrats as
an opposition party to information obtained through illegal spying that
would subject them to blackmail?
- These possible reasons for bypassing the law and the
court need to be fully investigated and debated. No administration in my
lifetime has given so many strong reasons to oppose and condemn it as has
the Bush administration. Nixon was driven from office because of a minor
burglary of no consequence in itself. Clinton was impeached because he
did not want the embarrassment of publicly acknowledging that he engaged
in adulterous sex acts in the Oval Office. In contrast, Bush has deceived
the public and Congress in order to invade Iraq, illegally detained Americans,
illegally tortured detainees, and illegally spied on Americans. Bush has
upheld neither the Constitution nor the law of the land. A majority of
Americans disapprove of what Bush has done; yet, the Democratic Party remains
a muted spectator.
- Why is the Justice (sic) Department investigating the
leak of Bush's illegal activity instead of the illegal activity committed
by Bush? Is the purpose to stonewall Congress' investigation of Bush's
illegal spying? By announcing a Justice (sic) Department investigation,
the Bush administration positions itself to decline to respond to Congress
on the grounds that it would compromise its own investigation into national
- What will the federal courts do? When Hitler challenged
the German judicial system, it collapsed and accepted that Hitler was the
law. Hitler's claims were based on nothing but his claims, just as the
claim for extra-legal power for Bush is based on nothing but memos written
by his political appointees.
- The Bush administration, backed by the neoconservative
Federalist Society, has brought the separation of powers, the foundation
of our political system, to crisis. The Federalist Society, an organization
of Republican lawyers, favors more "energy in the executive."
Distrustful of Congress and the American people, the Federalist Society
never fails to support rulings that concentrate power in the executive
branch of government. It is a paradox that conservative foundations and
individuals have poured money for 23 years into an organization that is
inimical to the separation of powers, the foundation of our constitutional
- September 11, 2001, played into neoconservative hands
exactly as the 1933 Reichstag fire played into Hitler's hands. Fear, hysteria,
and national emergency are proven tools of political power grabs. Now that
the federal courts are beginning to show some resistance to Bush's claims
of power, will another terrorist attack allow the Bush administration to
complete its coup?
- Dr. Roberts is John M. Olin Fellow at the Institute for
Political Economy and Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. He
is a former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, former contributing
editor for National Review, and a former assistant secretary of the U.S.
Treasury. He is the co-author of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.
- Copyright © 2006 Creators Syndicate