Missed opportunity

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.

One thought on “Missed opportunity”

  1. …mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable, than to right them selves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security…He has refused his assent to laws the most wholesome and necessary for the public good…he has refused to pass other laws…unless those people would relinquish the right of representation…he has made our judges dependent on his will alone…he has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to, the civil power…for derpiving us in many cases of trial by jury…a prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant is unfit to be the ruler of a free people…future ages will scarcely believe that one man…would lay a foundation so broad and so undisguised for tyranny over a people fostered and fixed in principles of freedom.
    And that, ladies and germs, is why Americans rebelled…in 1776.

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