Saturday, January 07, 2006

memo to the white house: your spying IS illegal

The Congressional Research Service has come to the conclusion that the de facto administration's domestic surveillance program -- you know, the warrantless variety now practiced by the NSA -- is in fact illegal. Specifically, they said that the program conflicts with existing law, and that the justifications the White House lawyers have used, that such eavesdropping was covered by the Congressional authorization to go into Afghanistan, and that they fall under the Commander-in-Chief powers, are feeble.

Gosh, what does CRS have in the way of legal analytical power that the White House and Department of Justice don't? CRS takes to hear what Berkely professor and former Justice legal whore John Yoo, said: "It would be inappropriate for a lawyer to say, 'The law means A, but I'm going to say B because to interpret it as A would violate American values. A lawyer's job is if the law says A, the law says A."

CRS lawyers get it. CRS lawyers read the laws and said that A means A. John Yoo, Alberto Gonzales, and the others don't get it. Or specifically, they probably DO understand it but choose to ignore Yoo's simple (and for him, hypocritical) principle in the name of political expediency, in coming up with justifications to try to paint a thin veneer of respectability and legality over the illegal and unconstitutional actions of their political bosses.