Bush’s “Domestic Spying Programme,” My Take…
Bush has been doing broad taps (not really taps, as wires are fairly rare nowadays) on U.S. citizens, nationals, and visitors who were having communication between themselves and members of nations where terrorists are known to reside. He didn’t look for judicial review, but he did give information on the “taps” to members of Congress to varying degrees. It’s fairly clear from most of the stories and most of the sources that Bush has not been attempting to find out personal information on American citizens to be used against them in criminal or political prosecution.
It appears these taps were a legitimate excercise in trying to find hidden members of our stateless enemies. There are a great many technical legal issues at work here. I’ve heard from some exceptional legal scholars who take differing views based on the Presidential powers to wage war versus citizens’ right to privacy. But to me, this issue rests simply on a single question:
Does the President have the legal right to spy on spies?
I say yes.