NYT Criticism is Too Soft
Today's New York Times editorial:
Ever since its secret domestic wiretapping program was exposed, the Bush administration has depicted it as a narrow examination of calls made by and to suspected terrorists. But its refusal to provide any details about the extent of the spying has raised doubts. Now there is more reason than ever to be worried — and angry — about how wide the government's web has been reaching...The editorial says "Congress should pass legislation that removes any doubt that this kind of warrantless spying on ordinary Americans is illegal", but I would have thought that was already well-enshrined in existing laws. What is the point passing more laws if Bush is only going to ignore them?
What we have here is a clandestine surveillance program of enormous size, which is being operated by members of the administration who are subject to no limits or scrutiny beyond what they deem to impose on one another. If the White House had gotten its way, the program would have run secretly until the war on terror ended — that is, forever.
Congress must stop pretending that it has no serious responsibilities for monitoring the situation. The Senate should call back Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and ask him — this time, under oath — about the scope of the program. This time, lawmakers should not roll over when Mr. Gonzales declines to provide answers...