The Wiretaps: Illegal, Unconstitutional, Pointless
On the warrantless wiretaps:
1) DK's resident lawyer, "Armando", demolishes the specious argument that the President has the constitutional power to do ANYTHING in the name of "national security" here and here.
2) Also from Daily Kos, this golden moment from Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez's press conference, in which he tries to say that Congress implicitly authorized the warrantless wiretaps. When asked why they didn't seek explicit authorization, he says that Congress probably wouldn't have given it to them. Hmmmmm
3) And finally, from the laws of the United States of America - this whole exercise in illegal wiretaps was pointless. Bush says that he couldn't always wait the few hours it takes to get an intelligence wiretap from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. So he had to personally authorize these illegal wiretaps.
No he didn't. I ask you to go to this link and go down to section (f). There you will note that, in emergencies where time is of the essence and the Attorney General believes he has enough evidence for a warrant, he can authorize a (circumscribed) wiretap and get a retroactive warrant within 72 hours. Do you understand what this means? It means Bush's rationale is bullshit. It means there was no need to authorize illegal wiretaps to save American lives.
I can think of only 2 possible conclusions. 1: Bush and company are incompetent and don't know the law. 2: They knew the law and decided they didn't even have enough for a retroactive warrant when doing these wiretaps.
Stupid, stupid, stupid. And illegal. Normally I consider the "impeach Bush" crowd to be a bunch of crazies....but this is beyond a stupid decision to go to war. This is breaking the law.