Battlepanda: Executive privilege watch


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Executive privilege watch

"As quietly as possible (although it sometimes breaks out into the open, usually with the sound of gunfire and the death of innocents), a "shadow government" has been set up all around us my friend. It's foundation is not the constitution, but Executive Orders, Presidential Procalamations, Secret Acts, and Emergency Powers."

"... there are no checks and balances anymore. This is exactly the SORT of thing I've been protesting all along."

"This is one of those ideas that has a valid purpose behind it, but is wide open to terrible abuse. And there's no way to check to see if it is abused.

"Like all things that don't have the light of day shining on them, you can be sure that it is being twisted to suit the purposes of those who hold the power."

"Wonder how many terrorist plots they have stopped? Sounds like despite trampling Constitutional rights, this was ineffective."

"There is a certain element in law enforcement that truly deserves the descriptive term, "jack-booted thugs." They love kicking down doors and shoving loaded guns in the faces of startled people in their pajamas. Their newest excuse for continuing the steady destruction of the Fourth Amendment will be the War On Terrorism."

Are the quotes above decrying the Bush's latest oversteps in executive privilege in the NSA wiretapping scandal? They could be, couldn't they. But no, these are quotes pulled from the comment thread of an old post at the Free Republic blasting the Clinton Whitehouse's expansion of the FISA courts.

So now you know. Circumventing the FISA court is just a part of doing your job as a commander in chief if your name is G.W. Bush. But going through the FISA courts instead of getting a warrant in open court is a jaw-droppingly Kafkaesque abuse of executive privileges if you happen to be Bill Clinton. Got that? I wonder how many of those keyboard warriors who blasted Clinton's dark disregard for civil liberties are out there right now being good little conservatives and carrying water for G.W. over his right to do whatever the hell he wants from torture to illegal wiretapping to extraordinary renditions to ordering hits within the United States.

I look forward to a Democratic presidency for many reasons in '08. But I have to admit that perhaps the part I anticipate with the most purest child-like glee is watching the wingnuts swivel on the issue of executive privilege so fast as to give themselves whiplash.

(HT Matt Y)