Atrios points to this news release:
Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances (PRCB) today called upon Congress to hold open, substantive oversight hearings examining the President’s authorization of the National Security Agency (NSA) to violate domestic surveillance requirements outlined in the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
Ooooo those crazed hippies, how I hate them. Why can’t they just accept that people like Grover Norquist beat them and took over the White House. Calling yourself “patriots” won’t make your communistic ravings any less un-American.
Former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr, chairman of PRCB, was joined by fellow conservatives Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR); David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union; Paul Weyrich, chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation and Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, in urging lawmakers to use NSA hearings to establish a solid foundation for restoring much needed constitutional checks and balances to intelligence law.
Oh. Bob Barr, who once implied that his district was so conservative that Bill Clinton might be assassinated if he visited, the guy who filed the impeachment papers. Grover Norquist, famed for turning the modern conservative movement into the force it is. Paul Weyrich, who funds the damned thing.
“When the Patriot Act was passed shortly after 9–11, the federal government was granted expanded access to Americans’ private information,” said Barr. “However, federal law still clearly states that intelligence agents must have a court order to conduct electronic surveillance of Americans on these shores. Yet the federal government overstepped the protections of the Constitution and the plain language of FISA to eavesdrop on Americans’ private communication without any judicial checks and without proof that they are involved in terrorism.”
The following can be attributed to PRCB members:
“I believe that our executive branch cannot continue to operate without the checks of the other branches. However, I stand behind the President in encouraging Congress to operate cautiously during the hearings so that sensitive government intelligence is not given to our enemies.” — Paul Weyrich, chairman and CEO, Free Congress Foundation
“Public hearings on this issue are essential to addressing the serious concerns raised by alarming revelations of NSA electronic eavesdropping.” — Grover Norquist, president, Americans for Tax Reform
“The need to reform surveillance laws and practices adopted since 9/11 is more apparent now than ever. No one would deny the government the power it needs to protect us all, but when that power poses a threat to the basic rights that make our nation unique, its exercise must be carefully monitored by Congress and the courts. This is not a partisan issue; it is an issue of safeguarding the fundamental freedoms of all Americans so that future administrations do not interpret our laws in ways that pose constitutional concerns.” — David Keene, chairman, American Conservative Union
“If the law is not reformed, ordinary Americans’ personal information could be swept into all-encompassing federal databases encroaching upon every aspect of their private lives. This is of particular concern to gun owners, whose rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment are currently being infringed upon under the Patriot Act’s controversial record search provisions.” — Alan Gottlieb, founder, Second Amendment Foundation
In large part, I think this incident has helped clarify which conservatives actually care about all the “limited government” noise they like to make, and which ones really just like voting for Republicans.
There is no sense in which the President’s actions were legally justified, nor Constitutionally justified. Even if you could twist various resolutions to justify it post hoc, the President has asserted an enormous and unjustified power to do as he pleases.
There is no middle ground on this. Everone from the most liberal liberal to the most conservative conservatives think the spying was wrong.