The FISA Mystery II

Here's a plausible theory for how the Bush administration has tied itself up in knots. Yep: it's John "Waterboard" Yoo again. And here's a great quote from Jack Balkin, that pretty much sums up my own view of the matter:

"The rule of law ... is a political value as well as a legal value. It is a political value of restraint that we take upon ourselves so that we can demand the same restraint from others when the power of the state rests in their hands. The rule of law can be, and has been, used to perpetrate or apologize for many injustices in human history. But it has one saving grace - that it offers us a place to stand when we object to the aggrandizement of power by those who are utterly convinced that they come to us as saviors. For many years conservatives warned us about would-be saviors of the left, who would sweep away legal restraints to pursue their vision of a just society. It is time to stand up to the would-be saviors of the right, who seek to concentrate unaccountable power in order to pursue their vision of national security."

Or as Margaret Thatcher once put it, with her usual bluntness: "Where law ends, tyranny begins."