Sunday, December 18, 2005

OUTSIDE THE LAW ROUNDUP Just as we were musing optimistically, late in the week, about the White House's decision to abandon one of its most illiberal policies, news arrived suggesting that the administration's relationship with the rule of law remains tenuous.

The key idea to keep in mind here is that the wiretap story isn't about secret spying. It isn't even about secret domestic spying--at least not primarily. This story, instead, is about the President's decision to abandon the traditional legal process--the use of warrants, court oversight, etc.--on what seems like extraordinarily flimsy legal grounds.

In other words, it's about the President's decision to break the law.

Some suggested reading:

1. Atrios catches this chilling CNN exchange between former congressman Bob Barr and House member Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA).

2. Josh Marshall shoots down the President's facile argument that the original Times story tipped off our enemies in any meaningful way.

3. Finally, here's Russ Feingold's take:

The President believes that he has the power to override the laws that Congress has passed. This is not how our democratic system of government works. The President does not get to pick and choose which laws he wants to follow. He is a president, not a king.

On behalf of all Americans who believe in our constitutional system of government, I call on this Administration to stop this program immediately and to fully cooperate with congressional inquiries and investigations. We have had enough of an Administration that puts itself above the law and the Constitution.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.