Hurrah! Bush is off the hook! For months it has been public knowledge that our President decided to go ahead with a warrantless wiretapping program to spy on Americans without having to even pretend terrorism was somehow involved. The indisputable truth is that President Bush ordered the NSA to proceed with the program despite being told multiple times by the Justice Department that it was illegal. We've known that our President knowingly broke the law in order to spy on American Citizens who have nothing to do with terrorism and that Congress has absolutely no intention of doing anything about it.
But now, hallelujah! Congress has gone one step further from complete inaction. Our "last best hope" actually legalized the President's program. That's right, given the choice between impeaching the President for indisputably breaking federal laws, doing nothing, or making the President's illegal program officially legal, our Congress decided to do the latter and show their support for the president they were supposedly elected to office in order to challenge.
Those seeking to find appeasement will cling to the fact that this new law is set to expire in 6 months, but that should be of no comfort. After all, the PATRIOT act expired and was renewed despite it's original rushed signing-to-law and the subsequent uproar over certain provisions hidden away within it. Are we supposed to believe that Congress temporarily agrees with giving our government the right to spy on us at the drop of a hat? Or is it more comforting to think they really wanted get their vacations started and figured it would be a good way to stop the administration from whining in the meantime?
Some will cling to the "fact" that this bill only applies to people who are outside the U.S. and happen to be using U.S. telecommunications system. The unfortunate truth is that the bill itself makes it clear that the government need supply no proof of compliance with this caveat and is expected to act of it's own accord and use "reasonable" judgment. Anyone feel better knowing that?
The Democrats have proven themselves to be useless, ineffective, and even lapdogs. Sure, only 14 Senators from the Democratic Party voted for this law, but a better number would have been 0. The Republicans, despite putting on airs of revolt, are still towing the party line and voting largely together. Apparently the Democrats can't even accomplish that much.