Kingly prerogratives

· Civil Liberties, Edgewise, Paleoblogs

Perhaps I’m humorless or old-fashioned but I’m still not over the cavalier way the President and all of his men are defending their decision to spy domestically without seeking warrants.
Last week Christopher Brauchli put it thusly in a post to Spot-On called Presidential Prerogatives:
> When asked by Jim Lehrer of “The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer””about the eavesdropping he said: “We do not discuss ongoing intelligence operations to protect the country. And the reason why is that there’s an enemy that lurks, that would like to know exactly what we’re trying to do to stop them.” He went on to say it was being done to fulfill his obligation to “protect the civil liberties of the American people.” By spying on thousand of citizens he is making those on whom he is not spying safer. Leaders of many third world countries would find that a compelling argument.
>
> The following morning Mr. Bush had a new answer to the question asked by Mr. Lehrer the preceding day. He said the practice was a “vital tool in our war against terrorists” and said he had authorized the spying more than 30 times since the events of 9/11. He did not mention that by acknowledging the existence of the program he was contradicting the previous day’s statements when President Bush said he did not want to help lurking terrorists by responding to questions about N.S.A surveillance. Why? When protecting his image competed with protecting the country, George Bush’s image won out. Self interest also manifested itself in an interview with Fox News.
On Friday David Brooks had another spin on George’s changing tune. He suggested that when Lehrer sprung the question on Bush, the story had just broken that morning and he did not yet know what his response should be. In other words, without a Rove-crafted spin, without talking points, Bush hid behind his national-security boogeyman redoubt.
I suppose the press and public have behaved like children and the administration has become used to treating us like children.