The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated...
I am no fan of the current president. He is a dimwit of the worst sort, refusing to acknowledge that there is reasoned disagreement over most of his policies. He has reduced the entire world to the dramatic complexity of an old movie Western- there are good guys, and they wear white; and the good guys do whatever it takes to stop the bad guys.
This dichotomy is simple enough to understand. Do whatever it takes- the ends justify the means. This is why the President could order- without apparent remorse or apprehension- the NSA to spy on American citizens, and intercept their presumably private communications. All without judicial or legislative oversight.
Of course, the ends do not justify the means. Some things are simply wrong, no matter how "necessary" they may appear. That is the essence of American constitutionalism- the Constitution doesn't grant rights to the people as much as it demarcates the outer limits where the government cannot go.
What separated us from our enemies throughout history- from the Revolution, through the Nazis and the Soviets, to al-Qaeda- is that we are free. Free to choose for ourselves a life, free to pursue wealth and opportunity, free from intrusion by the government itself. The enemies of freedom- past and present- all believe that people cannot be trusted.
That is not the American way. Our system of government, with its separation of powers, and checks and balances, guaranteed that no one figure would ever be able to turn the might of the government against the people themselves.
The President unleashed a secret police on American citizens with the stroke of a pen. In so doing, he committed a crime. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, by its very terms, only permits this sort of thing against foreign powers and persons- not Americans. Even when used against foreigners the administration must get a warrant, and history shows that the warrants have been liberally granted. The President's lame justification barely holds water. Domestic spying violates everything that Americans hold dear- that we a free people, able to choose our own destinies, and that ours is a nation of laws- not men.
The President's disregard for the rule of law and his utter hubris in office demonstrate that he is not fit to serve. It's time to remove him from office. I know that Cheney will be no better, but that is not the point. Bush cannot be trusted, and if given half the chance would install himself into the White House permanently, like a tinhorn dictator Generalissimo-for-life. He is not a royal sovereign, but simply a citizen, elected to serve at our pleasure- and we are displeased.