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Disclaimer: The author of this site maintained the campaign weblog of John Kline's opponent in the 2006 election, which made Congressman Kline a bit testy.

As with all blogs, review the facts carefully and draw your own conclusions.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

It's Official: Bush's Warrantless Surveillance is Unconstitutional

[Disclaimer: This post was first published on Coleen Rowley's campaign weblog.]

Today U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor confirmed what anyone with the most basic grasp of the law already knew, that George Bush's warrantless NSA surveillance of American citizens is unconstitutional:

"It was never the intent of the framers to give the president such unfettered control, particularly where his actions blatantly disregard the parameters clearly enumerated in the Bill of Rights," Taylor wrote in her 43-page opinion. ". . . There are no hereditary Kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution. So all 'inherent powers' must derive from that Constitution."

Let's be clear on this. Coleen Rowley does not oppose surveillance of suspected terrorists in the name of national security. No one opposes that. But what should greatly concern us all is the Bush administration's apparent need to conduct such surveillance without the federally mandated oversight of the FISA court. Coleen is on record as far back as March in stating that the NSA program needs needs close scrutiny:

If the President is correct in claiming his program is both legal and vital to the larger "War on Terror," then prove it. Let's have a bipartisan, comprehensive review of the program. Let's do it behind closed doors, so as not to reveal any sensitive details that could compromise our national security.

Keeping America safe is an absolute priority. But that responsibility does not give the President license to break the law.

For his part, John Kline has said . . . um . . . hmm. Well, I could be missing something here, but I'm unable to find any public statement of any kind from John Kline on this program, which is of central focus in both the so-called 'war on terror' and in defining who we are as a nation.

The New York Times broke the news about this program 8 months ago, which is a long time for a member of Congress to remain silent on such an important issue. Perhaps he believes that if he avoids saying anything, he will avoid criticism.

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