Washington Post (emphasis mine):
The Bush administration said yesterday that it plans to start using the nation’s most advanced spy technology for domestic purposes soon, rebuffing challenges by House Democrats over the idea’s legal authority.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said his department will activate his department’s new domestic satellite surveillance office in stages, starting as soon as possible with traditional scientific and homeland security activities — such as tracking hurricane damage, monitoring climate change and creating terrain maps.
This is an administration with a proven disregard for the law. They don’t care what comes of their actions. They know they will not be seriously prosecuted (if at all). That is why they won’t stop.
Expect more when Bush’s heir McCain becomes President in 2008.
Meanwhile the Democrats haven’t learned a thing from the past 7 years:
“I have had a firsthand experience with the trust-me theory of law from this administration,” said Harman, citing the 2005 disclosure of the National Security Agency‘s domestic spying program, which included warrantless eavesdropping on calls and e-mails between people in the United States and overseas. “I won’t make the same mistake. . . . I want to see the legal underpinnings for the whole program.”
This is a constitutional crisis. The spying is bad, the blatant disregard for the law is criminal. Don’t just look for the legal underpinnings. Aggressively attack the entire program and the administration’s illegal actions.
DHS officials said the demands are unwarranted. “The legal framework that governs the National Applications Office . . . is reflected in the Constitution, the U.S. Code and all other U.S. laws,” said DHS spokeswoman Laura Keehner. She said its operations will be subject to “robust,” structured legal scrutiny by multiple agencies.
That’s a smoke-screen you smell. Behind it is the same “We’ll do what we want and screw the law” mentality that is choking our civil rights out of our government.