Friday, January 06, 2006

Also worth reading is "Repealing the Magna Carta" from Mother Jones.

After the latter scandal became public, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales (who, in 2002 as White House counsel, penned a memo advising the President on how to circumvent the 1996 War Crimes Act) claimed that George Bush had the right to violate the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (which makes it illegal to spy on U.S. citizens in the United States without prior or retroactive -- within 72 hours-- court approval) due to his "inherent authority as commander in chief under the Constitution." This, despite the fact that in 2004 Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, writing for the court, insisted, "A state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation's citizens." Bush himself then came out swinging, claiming that he had no need for the courts since he acted as his own agency of oversight, and his acts were legal because he "swore to uphold the laws."