|AP photo / Evan Vucci|
In a scathing editorial on Sunday, The New York Times accused President Bush of playing on the nation’s post-9/11 fears in order to justify violating civil liberties and protecting big telecom companies implicated in his wiretapping scheme. The Bush camp “use[d] the nation’s tragedy to grab ever more power for its vision of an imperial presidency,” the Times editorial board charged.
The New York Times:
Mr. Bush says the law should give immunity to communications companies that gave data to the government over the last five years without a court order. He says they should not be punished for helping to protect America, but what Mr. Bush really wants is to avoid lawsuits that could uncover the extent of the illegal spying he authorized after 9/11.
It may be possible to shield these companies from liability, since the government lied to them about the legality of its requests. But the law should allow suits aimed at forcing disclosure of Mr. Bush’s actions. It should also require a full accounting to Congress of all surveillance conducted since 9/11. And it should have an expiration date, which the White House does not want.
Ever since 9/11, we have watched Republican lawmakers help Mr. Bush shred the Constitution in the name of fighting terrorism. We have seen Democrats acquiesce or retreat in fear. It is time for that to stop.
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