Bill Kristol Smokes Crack and Writes a Column


I'm open to other explanations of Kristol's mess of an attempted justification for George Bush by-passing statutory restrictions on wiretapping, but that one seems to fit pretty darn well.

It really helps to have a radically altered perception of reality to argue, as Kristol does, that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act somehow hamstrings the chief executive's pursuit of actionable intelligence. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is a virtual rubber-stamp for wiretap requests, particularly of the sort Kristol spins out. A senior al Qaeda operative's cell phone contacts in the U.S. would not pass muster with the court? Get off the horn Bill, that's shit is making you talk crazy.

Not enough time to get a warrant? Initiate the wiretap immediately and then go get a warrant retroactively, that's an option too. Nope, the president has unlimited authority in such matters and does not require any manner of judicial review. Ah, yes it is "foolish and irresponsible" to dwell on this point. Could it be that unlimited presidential authority is precisely the point, exactly the principle that this administration seeks to advance?

If America is going to a have a chief executive who may unilaterally, by virtue of his oath of office, investigate, detain, and jail anyone, anywhere that the chief executive deems to be a threat to the state and to society, it would be nice if we could comment on that development without being snorted at and insulted.

A further question: Are there any kinds of wiretaps that the president may not order? Why?