Sullum On Mukasey


Did Mukasey mean that the Constitution authorized the president to ignore FISA's warrant requirements, as his predecessor, Alberto Gonzales, argued? No matter how many times he was asked, Mukasey wouldn't say, instead retreating to the lame argument that Congress, without realizing it, amended FISA by authorizing the use of military force against the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks.

Even as the administration continues to insist that the NSA's warrantless surveillance was legal, it is pressing Congress to give the telecommunications companies that cooperated with the program retroactive legal immunity. Immunity for what? For assisting the government with its perfectly lawful surveillance?

Clearly, Bush wants to give these companies a free pass for breaking the law in the name of national security. They shouldn't get one, and neither should he.