The continued reports of the Bush Administration’s domestic spying activity got me thinking. They argue that spying on U.S. citizens is necessary to combat terrorism by helping to prevent future attacks. Bush states that his powers as Commander and Chief in a time of war give him the “inherent” authority to do so. There is a mountain of arguments against this. All of which are supported by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Every constitutional law expert that I have seen or read (except those appearing on Fox) has stated that Bush has either broken the law or at best completely overreached leading us towards some sort of constitutional crisis.
But, putting all that aside for a moment and giving the administration an enormous benefit of the doubt, I would like to make a point that I haven’t heard discussed. If the president and the NSA is acting within their rights to intercept private citizens telephone and email messages, then surely the voting public is entitled to intercept all of our elected official’s telephone and email conversations. We “voted” them into office. They work for us. Shouldn’t we be allowed to tap George and Dick’s telephones? Or bug the oval office? Or what could be a win-win for the public and capitalist America - make the presidency a reality TV show on its own cable channel with cameras following these public servants 24 hours a day.
If there is anyone who has proven that they are a threat to national security it’s the Bush administration. We all know about the Bush family’s business ties to the Bin Laden family. And, I’m sure that they make a lot of international phone calls. They fit their own criteria.
Following this logic, as George takes it upon himself to snoop into our private lives we cannot, at the same time, allow Mr. Bush to continue as the most secretive leader this country has ever known.
John Dean wrote about this in “Worse than Watergate” nearly two years before the NSA spying story becoming public:
“Their secrecy is far worse than that of Watergate, and it bodes even more serious consequences. Their secrecy is extreme – not merely unjustified and excessive but obsessive.”
It was no coincidence that after the domestic spying story broke; Dean was one of the first to state that Bush was the first President in U.S. history to admit to an "impeachable offense".
In the end whether this was a crime and the issue of impeachment will be debated for the foreseeable future, but in the meantime I say if Bush is going to Spy on us, we dam well better spy on him.