Give Me Liberty
There are a number of issues raised by the NSA homeland spying disclosures, but one of the largest ones looming in my mind is the constitutionality of the actions. The separation of powers framework as established by the Founding Fathers is one of constant tinkering — one side becomes more powerful over the course of time, and another branch of government eventually rises to balance it back into alignment, and on it goes.
But in the last few years, there has been a concerted effort to move toward a strong executive, undercutting the power of the legislative branch by their abdication of most oversight and independent legislative prerogatives by their deferrment of those responsibilities to the President and his priorities.
Additionally, there has been a decided movement toward disrespect of the judiciary branch, which has held out as an aspect of government independent of political control over the last few years. And, as all of us who have been watching this Administration know, it has been about control and building more power — just take a peek at any of Karl Rove’s speeches on how he wants to build a lasting Republican dynasty to see his intent in all of this.
To that end, Glenn Greenwald has an exceptional post up this morning regarding the conflict between the NSA decisions by the Administration and their relationship to all of the dangers forseen by the Founding Fathers. And how this Administration has patently ignored the Constitutional implications of their actions in favor of consolidating control.
If the naked assertion of absolute power by the Bush Administration — and the use of that power to eavesdrop on American citizens without any judicial review — does not finally prompt the public regardless of partisan allegiance to take a stand against this undiluted claim to real tyrannical power, then it is impossible to imagine what would ever prompt such a stand.
This is a great read, and one that ought to perk up the ears of every American, regardless of political affiliation. The term is "separation of powers" not seizure of every bit of power you can grab for your own purposes.