Today brings more troubling indications that George Bush's blatant bypassing the "checks and balances" of the Federal Surveillance Court has not contributed significantly to America's security interests, but has contributed greatly to American's mistrust of him and the U.S. government.
It has been revealed that more than 18,732 requests to spy have been filed with the Foreign Intelligence Survellience Court since the court's creation in 1979, and only four have been rejected. This further questions George Bush's purported need to bypass the court with his illegal orders to the NSA to spy on Americans, since only the most outrageous requests would ever be rejected. This court, as weak a check it is on the power of the president and the NSA, is all we've got.
Bypassing the court certainly has not met a need that has added to America's security interests, but rather has shredded the U.S. constitution. A country such as America, a country of laws and checks and balances, does not need a dictator to protect its citizens. All this points to some other domestic political goal of the administration.
Yes, of course, the terrorists must be identified and stopped dead in their tracks. And at times of war, some rights and privileges should be placed on hold. Yet, if we let terrorists induce fear which causes our government to turn America into a police state, the terrorists have won. Clearly, the NSA spying on Americans has not contributed to our safety.
The Bush Administration demonstrated with the UN spy-scandal that it would abuse the NSA for political purposes. The door is now wide open for a deep investigation on what the heck is going on. Congress must step up to this challenge.