Where have I heard of this NSA before?

Oh, yeah, didn't it have something to do with John Bolton receiving NSA intercepts of Americans' conversations? From Larry Johnson (via the UnCapitalist Journal):

We still don't know who he was looking at and what information was contained in those intercepts. More importantly, were they legally obtained? In light of the latest revelation, we have another possible explanation why the Bush Administration fought so strenuously to keep those intercepts secret and out of the hearing. Snooping without judicial review is wrong and must be punished.

It seems like if Bolton had nothing to hide, he shouldn't have needed to worry about Congress seeing the intercepts. After all, that's the argument conservatives routinely use to justify these spy operations. Isn't it wonderful how the only way to fight the terrorists always results in Bush getting more and more power?

So far, the only defense I've heard from my conservative friends is that (1) the law can be twisted to make what Bush did legal, and (2) we must reserve judgment till more facts surface. Both of these arguments are unacceptable: the law clearly states that what Bush did was illegal (even IF Congress authorized the spying, which it neither did nor has the power to do) and is there a reason you can possibly think of that Bush should be allowed to do something illegal? Bush has already admitted that what we think happened, happened - all the necessary facts are there. There's no question of fact - it's a question now of lawyers' interpretations. And if that's the best argument they can drum up, then I have no choice but to consider them patently dishonest. The time has come for conservatives to remember that their principles are more important than their leaders. Because if the Republican citizens let this stand and defend it, I can no longer consider merely their leaders the problem.

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Written on Tuesday, December 20, 2005