A great piece from Slate
was sent out over Dems-talk. For those of you who aren't on it, I figured I'd post it here
. The thesis paragraph responds to the contention that the issue is simply one of national security vs. civil liberties:
Would that so little were at stake. In fact, the Senate hearings on NSA domestic espionage set to begin next month will confront fundamental questions about the balance of power within our system. Even if one assumes that every unknown instance of warrant-less spying by the NSA were justified on security grounds, the arguments issuing from the White House threaten the concept of checks and balances as it has been understood in America for the last 218 years. Simply put, Bush and his lawyers contend that the president's national security powers are unlimited. And since the war on terror is currently scheduled to run indefinitely, the executive supremacy they're asserting won't be a temporary condition.
I recommend the whole thing, but it strikes me that we're living in pretty extraordinary times. Of course, I'm just a youngster, maybe things are always this interesting...