Friday, December 16, 2005

Why didn't the NY Times publish the domestic spying story last year...before the election?

by John

Read the post from Will Bunch on this subject. He asks and gives some good answers to that question.

Okay, we'll never know for sure whether the NY Times helped Bush during the 2004 by holding back the story that he allowed spying on US citizens without warrants -- an action that is illegal. This looks like another situation where the Bush team cowed the media by playing the politics of national security. Bunch nails it:
And there lies the real story behind the story. Because it appears it may have been possible for the Times to publish at least some of the details of the Bush-ordered domestic spying before Nov. 2, 2004, the day that the president nailed down four more years. Although Bush won by 2 percent nationally, a switch of just 59,302 Ohio voters from Bush to John Kerry would would have put the Democrats back in the White House.

Would Bush won the election if the extent of his seemingly unconstitutional domestic spying had been known? We'll never know. For roughly a year, the White House successfully leaned on the Times to keep the story under wraps. It's not known when the Bush lobbying of the Times began. But it is clear that the warning signs about the program -- the alarm bells that likely triggered the Times investigation in the first place -- were going off by mid-2004, months before the vote....

Bush should be impeached

From Kevin Drum's blow (guest blogger Hilzoy)
...Bush signed an order allowing the NSA to spy on US citizens without a warrant.

This is against the law. I have put references to the relevant statute below the fold; the brief version is: the law forbids warrantless surveillance of US citizens,...

Bush's order is arguably unconstitutional as well: it seems to violate the fourth amendment, and it certainly violates the requirement (Article II, sec. 3) that the President "shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed."...

I am normally extremely wary of talking about impeachment.... But I have a high bar, not a nonexistent one. And for a President to order violations of the law meets my criteria for impeachment....

And this is something that no American should tolerate. We claim to have a government of laws, not of men. That claim means nothing if we are not prepared to act when a President (or anyone else) places himself above the law. If the New York Times report is true, then Bush should be impeached.


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