The attorney-general, Alberto Gonzales, has already said he believes that the president has the constitutional right to overturn laws against torture, under his powers as commander-in-chief. He also believes that the president has the power to order warrantless wire-taps of phones from or to abroad if it's necessary for national security, violating the law. Now, we find out that Gonzales also believes that the president has the constitutional authority to wiretap purely domestic calls without a warrant. Money quote:
"In response to a question from Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) during an appearance before the House Judiciary Committee, Gonzales suggested that the administration could decide it was legal to listen in on a domestic call without supervision if it were related to al-Qaeda. "I'm not going to rule it out," Gonzales said. In the past, Gonzales and other officials refused to say whether they had the legal authority to conduct warrantless eavesdropping on domestic calls, and have stressed that the NSA eavesdropping program is focused only on international communications."
This is how they take your freedom away one sliver at a time. It's important to remember that this comes from the attorney-general. The person who is supposed to represent citizens and retain some independence from the executive branch is an eager ally of the executive in its deeper and deeper incursions into basic civil liberties. For Gonzales, the president is an elected monarch. And we are his subjects.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.