Charlie Savage in the New York Times reports this morning that McCain believes, like Bush, that spying on Americans without a warrant is legal. This despite a “1978 federal statute that required court oversight of surveillance.”
This is yet another example of hysterical fear on the part of Republicans. We are not America, and the terrorists do win, if we compromise our principles in the name of a false sense of security. Especially when the law referenced above, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), provides the means for officials to spy immediately and get the special FISA court’s approval after the fact.
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution reads: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
You want a strict constructionist interpretation? Here’s one: What Bush did was unconstitutional and illegal. They impeached Clinton, however justifiably, on the slim reed of lying under oath. Bush has spied on Americans without a warrant. Not only should he be impeached, he should be prosecuted.
The fact that McCain now supports (this is another McCain flip-flop) this illegal seizure of power by the executive branch demonstrates that he will most certainly represent Bush’s third term. Call him Bush.