Because he’s a lawyer and we’re not.
The DOJ issued an explanatory memo last night (PDF). Glenn says their legal ground is highly specious. Then the WaPo prints an Op-Ed by Tom Daschle basically explaining that the fundamental basis on which the DOJ memo claims Bush’s power implicitly rests, a particular reading of the post-9/11 Authorization of the Use of Military Force, was explicitly rejected by congress in negotiations with the White House. Oh well.
Apparently the Pentagon has its finger in the illegal-surveillance pot as well. But don’t worry, if you’ve always been 100% patriotic (that is, supportive of this particular administration) then you’re probably not in their database. Unless you know somebody who is, in which case you should take more care with whom you associate.
When you consider that the Supreme Court will almost certainly hear one or more cases stemming from snoopgate, in a time frame in which Samuel Alito will likely preside if a filibuster isn’t mounted, the candidate’s opinions regarding the government’s right to wiretap citizens seems almost ridiculously relevant. The NYT suggests that if he plays a tiebreaking role, it’ll be on the wrong side.
Another day of Joementum.