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When The Government Breaks The Law
By Barbara Bergman
President's Column columns.
The New York Times revealed in mid-December that for the past four years President Bush has repeatedly authorized the National Security Agency, a Defense Department intelligence agency, to conduct surveillance of domestic communications involving foreign contacts. Eventually, the Bush Administration admitted that the Times story is accurate. The President’s actions constitute an abuse of power and violate our Constitution and federal law.
The President attempted to justify his actions on three grounds:
- his notification to a few select members of Congress;
- Congress’ resolution authorizing him to make war on Iraq and Afghanistan; and
- his constitutional authority as Commander-in-Chief to maintain national security.
Merely notifying a few members of Congress that the Administration intended to violate the law does not justify bypassing existing legislation. We can imagine how successful we would be in defending our clients if we tried to argue that “well, he told his friends he was going t
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