In an amazing twist, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez has issued a new letter in which he states that the NSA Wiretapping/domestic surveillance program is now subject to FISA courts.
The full text of the letter can be viewed below (via TPM).
According to right-wingers, FISA was absolutely unnecessary and the President had the power to do as he wishes, without the approval of FISA (even when a warrant could be received retroactively up to 72 hours of wiretap initiation).
In late 2005, Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol, and AEI “scholar” Gary Schmidt penned an Op-ed for The Washington Post (which of course left out much vital information about FISA) which contained this gem:
“This is presumably one reason why President Bush decided that national security required that he not simply follow the strictures of the 1978 foreign intelligence act, and, indeed, it reveals why the issue of executive power and the law in our constitutional order is more complicated than the current debate would suggest. It is not easy to answer the question whether the president, acting in this gray area, is “breaking the law.” It is not easy because the Founders intended the executive to have — believed the executive needed to have — some powers in the national security area that were extralegal but constitutional.”
Kristol and Schmidt argued that the President can, in some instances, break the law if he deems it necessary. These “rule of law” Republicans (neocons in sheeps clothing) threw their ideology out the window and sold their souls to support actions by the president merely because he is of the same party, and wished to support the neoconservative agenda. All of this for actions that could easily have been avoided, since FISA allows for wiretapping to begin, with the stipulation a warrant is received within 72 hours. Not to mention only 6 requests from the Bush Administration to the FISA court for a warrant were ever denied.
Now just over a year later, the President is admitting (or is possibly frightened of Congressional subpoenas)that FISA is the rule of law in the United States, and will finally follow its provisions. Integrity, credibility and the Constitution were thrown out the window over the slighest of challenges: 6 denials and slightly over 150 modifications to warrants by the FISA courts. Another example of Bush’s delusion that he is King, and can do as he wishes.
Or maybe someone finally read the Constitution to him.
Update: This sudden change of heart, it seems, comes only a day before Gonzolez is set to testify before Congress on the issue. After 6 years of GOP rule, unchecked powers, and the ability to do as he wishes, President Bush reversed his course just one day before his “course” was set to be questioned. Under oath.