Commentary Magazine


Tapped Out

It turns out the Protect America federal wire-tapping program has been deemed kosher just in time for Barack Obama to use it as he sees fit:

A federal intelligence court, in a rare public opinion, issued a major ruling validating the power of the president and Congress to wiretap international phone calls and intercept e-mail messages without a specific court order, even when Americans’ private communications may be involved.

But don’t worry, the New York Times still leaves you some wiggle room to rant about President Bush’s shredding of the constitution:

In validating the government’s wide authority to collect foreign intelligence, it may offer legal credence to the Bush administration’s repeated assertions that the president has the power to act without specific court approval in ordering national security eavesdropping that may involve Americans.

Yeah, it “may” offer legal credence. I guess that wouldn’t be up to the courts, would it. Better leave that to tomorrow’s Times op-ed writers to decide.