Friday, January 16, 2009

Bush Surveillance Policy Vindicated---Yet Again

The Bush administration has won yet another round in court on its foreign intelligence surveillance. You know what foreign intelligence surveillance is. That;s the anti-terrorist techniques that Democrats have endlessly characterized as “illegal,” “lawless,” and “shredding the Constitution.”

The FISA Court of Review, the court that Conyers, Levin, Schumer and the rest were all convinced would put leg irons on Bush if he would only volunteer to let them do it, has instead been consistently finding in favor of the executive’s power to conduct warrantless surveillance of foreign agents. The latest opinion states that the "directives at issue are lawful, and compliance with them obligatory." But you won’t hear much about that in the news.

Which I suppose means the Bush era is ending just the way it began, with Bush victories in rational tribunals barely reported.

In November 2000, during the Great Al Gore Election Robbery (foiled), the Bush team was winning every single legal challenge, in spite of being heard before Democratic judges (with the notable exception of cases before the 100% partisan Democrats on the Florida Supreme Court).

The Democrats sued over defective voting machines and lost. They sued over the butterfly ballots and lost. They sued that there was voter suppression—and got nowhere for an embarrassing lack of evidence. I don’t think many paid attention to all these courtroom skirmishes, because the nightly talking heads were so much more compelling. And, it was only legal geeks like me who were interested in all that legal mumbo-jumbo. Nor should we forget how the Leftist media--shedding barrels of ink for the cause--were desperate to force a victory for President Gore.

By the time the US Supreme Court got hold of Al Gore’s lawsuit, the pattern had been clear for weeks: the Gore camp, in its strategy to endlessly prolong the election recount until Bush simply gave up and let the losing man have the White House (as if), didn’t have a legal leg to stand on. There was absolutely nothing remarkable about the U.S. Supremes ruling the way they did. Not, at least, if you had been following the pattern of frivolous legal challenges that led up to it.

Similarly with the recent hoopla over warrantless surveillance. There really was never anything controversial about the legalities of Bush’s intelligence gathering. The Democrats simply hated it, that’s all. They hated it because they hated Bush, and they hated his standing up to terrorism, the way they never would do. And because they had the powers of Congressional office, and the free bullhorn of the media, they were able to portray Bush's commonsense actions as deserving of scorn as those of the Third Reich.

And this legal decision is one more example of shame on Them and good for Bush.

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