After recounting the several independently sufficient reasons the current administration’s wiretap program violated the law, George Will comes to the following inexplicable conclusion:
>But 53 months [after September 11th], Congress should make all necessary actions lawful by authorizing the president to take those actions, with suitable supervision. It should do so with language that does not stigmatize what he has been doing, but that implicitly refutes the doctrine that the authorization is superfluous.
The obvious conclusion to be drawn from Will’s own premises, however, seems to be another one. To this point the President has been engaged in a pattern of illegal activity (of, by the way, dubious use as intelligence). Such illegal activity, for the reasons Will has detailed, ought to be stigmatized by Congress. Second, a legal structure for that type of intelligence gathering already exists (the President can even get a warrant *after* surveillance). Furthermore, the current “monarchical” (that’s Will’s word) administration shouldn’t be rewarded for its clueless and lawless attempts at protecting the American people by undermining civil liberties. Finally, the Republican Congress can be trusted even less than their constitutionally challenged leader.
Had Will meant to argue *for* the President’s action, then perhaps he should have outlined reasons he of all Presidents should be trusted with even greater authority than the law now allows. None of the reasons he has outlined indicate this.