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Adviser: McCain Backs Bush's Wiretaps

As if 100 years in Iraq wasn’t enough, a top adviser to John McCain claims that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee supports and believes lawful Bush’s infamous warrantless wiretapping program.

In a letter to the National Review, McCain adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin writes that “neither the administration nor the telecoms need apologize for actions that most people, except for the A.C.L.U. and trial lawyers, understand were constitutional and appropriate in the wake of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.” Because everyone knows telecom companies are constitutional experts, not lawyers.


The New York Times:

A top adviser to Senator John McCain says Mr. McCain believes that President Bush’s program of wiretapping without warrants was lawful, a position that appears to bring him into closer alignment with the sweeping theories of executive authority pushed by the Bush administration legal team.

In a letter posted online by National Review this week, the adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, said Mr. McCain believed that the Constitution gave Mr. Bush the power to authorize the National Security Agency to monitor Americans’ international phone calls and e-mail without warrants, despite a 1978 federal statute that required court oversight of surveillance.

Although a spokesman for Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, denied that the senator’s views on surveillance and executive power had shifted, legal specialists said the letter contrasted with statements Mr. McCain previously made about the limits of presidential power.

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