there is a twilight when everything seems seemingly unchanged.

Bunnypants has decided to put his previously debunked legal justification for doing an end run around Constitutional limits on executive power in writing. perhaps thinking that the words once printed would take on some rhetorical magic, Administration Lays Out Legal Case for Wiretapping Program

The defense comes at a critical time in the administration’s effort to quell the growing political uproar over the N.S.A. program. House Democrats will be holding their first hearing Friday on the legality of the program, and the Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled another hearing in two weeks. A number of legal analysts, meanwhile, including those at the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, have questioned the legality of the program in strong terms.

They have in fact stated that FISA is unconstitutional. It is a shock that a law passed in 1978 has gone this many years, through Reagan, Bush 1, and Bill Clinton without a constitutional challange brought before the Supreme Court. Bush “White Paper” Says Neither Congress Nor FISA Can Stop Him From Domestic Electronic Spying

“You could review the entire legislative history in the authorization to use military force and I guarantee you won’t find one word about electronic surveillance,” Bamford said. “If you review the legislative history of FISA, you will find Attorney General Griffin Bell testifying before the intelligence committee saying this was specifically passed to prevent a president from claiming inherent presidential powers to do this again.”

As I wrote in another post, the Attorney General of the United States is supposed to be unpartisan, but the fact is he was chosen partly because he was an ideological messiah that heard the same strange voices that Bush hears. So its little wonder they can’t hear through the den of the echo of their own voices,
Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Unless the White House contends the program is a covert action, the memo said, “limiting congressional notification of the NSA program to the Gang of Eight . . . would appear to be inconsistent with the law.”

Also yesterday, the Electronic Privacy Information Center said it would file a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit today demanding information about the NSA spying. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed separate lawsuits Tuesday asserting that Bush exceeded his authority and violated Fourth Amendment guarantees in authorizing the NSA surveillance.

and here Report Rebuts Bush on Spying

The 44-page report said that Bush probably cannot claim the broad presidential powers he has relied upon as authority to order the secret monitoring of calls made by U.S. citizens since the fall of 2001. Congress expressly intended for the government to seek warrants from a special Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court before engaging in such surveillance when it passed legislation creating the court in 1978, the CRS report said.

The intellectual laziness and corruption of the far right continues to simply act as blowhorns of the same pretzel twisting that has charaterrized their weak defense of Bush since the NSA scandal began.

I think the DOJ hits on a very important element of this whole program. It is not designed to snoop on political rivals or those who simply disagree with the administration’s policies… it is designed to “prevent further catastrophic attacks” by “a declared enemy that has already struck at the homeland and is engaged in ongoing operations against the United States”. An enemy who fully understands our freedoms (such freedoms they themselves do not afford others) and seeks to exploit them as a military strategy.

That lazy Bush defender, feather duster in hand should heed Mr Mark Twain’s advice, “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” – Bush Authorized Domestic Spying Before 9/11

The NSA’s vast data-mining activities began shortly after Bush was sworn in as president and the document contradicts his assertion that the 9/11 attacks prompted him to take the unprecedented step of signing a secret executive order authorizing the NSA to monitor a select number of American citizens thought to have ties to terrorist groups.

Bush and the Royal Loyalists Keyboard Brigade have the ultimate plan for America’s security, illegal warrantless searches+king-like executive power = prevention of attacks. The fact is we had illegal warrantless searches+king-like executive power = did not prevent 9-11. This may be abstract for some, but a president that creates a constitutional crisis, that made Iraq a priority over fighting Al-Queda, that has created a record national debt is a ” catastrophic” attack on American law and values.

The thing that is strange about the administrations and the rightie pundits is their deep devotion to unprincipled   nonsensical political doublespeak. The motives given by Gonzales, Cheney, and overeager right-wing bloggeteers are so easily blown out of the water by legal precedent, one asks, are we having a debate or is this The Age of the Internet version of the Political Twilight Zone. FISA allows for the NSA to start a surveillance operation at the tick of Dick Cheney’s pacemaker. What’s not fast enough about that.Tick, Tick, Tick, there goes three NSA surveillance operations that can procede legally for the next 72 hours, but Bunnypants thinks he has or needs more power. That doesn’t leave room for anything in the way of reasonable explanation for breaking the law. Impotent whining about the constitutionality of a law that Bush has been breaking for three years just makes for nationwide eye rolling in incredulity. Except for those that have a terminal case of Bush fever or cognitive dissonance. Is this administration ever going to put country first and put their extremist ideology back in the gutter they got it from.
Probably the attitude that prevails across America right now is that hey, I can work, order a pizza, rent a DVD, what do I care if Calvin Coolidge, Jimmy Carter, George Bush, or maybe Hillary Clinton in 2008 breaks the law and claims extra-presidential powers.

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything seems seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we must be most aware of change in the air — however slight — lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness — Justice William O. Douglas

hat tip to The Slideshow for the attempt by the current Culture of Corruption to rehash past Democratic smears in a fun game of deflection.

In some ways, the Clinton scandals of the 90’s can be seen as innoculation for the Republican corruption that was rampant, even then. We all know that the charges against the Clinton administration were bullshit, but the non-stop pounding for eight long years is one of the main reason why the public sees corruption as bi-partisan in Washington today.