Sunday, December 25, 2005

"Impeachment Nonsense" (Krauthammer, 12/23

From tmorange
Sent Saturday, December 24, 2005 9:42 pm
Subject "Impeachment Nonsense"

Dear Editors,

"Everyone's doing it," so we are told, was the mantra of "liberal permissiveness" lo these past forty years. And such is the topsy-turvey world of today that Charles Krauthammer leads the chorus of right-wing faithful in celebrating a permissiveness, or shall I say a shameless promiscuity, of executive power the likes of which this country has not seen since Richard Nixon. ("Impeachment Nonsense," Friday, December 23, 2005; Page A21.) So goes the John Schmidt defense: every president since Carter has reserved the right to claim that executive power trumps FISA.

This is one legal opinion, just one among an increasing consensus that this president broke the law. Even at the fringes of the Kool Aid Left one finds Krauthammer's colleague George F. Will arguing that "In peace and in war, but especially in the latter, presidents have pressed their institutional advantages to expand their powers to act without Congress. This president might look for occasions to stop pressing" ("Why Didn't He Ask Congress?," The Washington Post, December 20, 2005; Page A31). One things is clear: FISA requires a court-issued warrant to conduct domestic surveillance, and this president executed a secret plan to circumvent that law.

So, Mr. Krauthammer, even though it's hard not to demagogue something when it walks like a broken law and talks like a broken law, legal minds will differ. And if this president did not break the law, he will emerge from his impeachment trial an innocent man.

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