This morning’s Washington Post‘s crows “Bush Retreats on Use of Executive Power“.
Yesterday, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, informing its Members that a judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court had approved goverment eavesdropping on international communications into or out of the United States of America when there is probable cause to suspect that either of the parties is a member of a terrorist group.
“As a result of these orders,” Mr. Gonzales explains, “any electronic surveillance that was occurring as part of the Terrorist Surveillance Program will now be conducted subject to the approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.”
Not exactly “A man’s home is his castle.”
So did Bush really blink? Or did he just call his own bluff? Does Mr. Gonzales’s letter really mean that one of the clubs bludgeoning the Fourth Amendment has stilled? Or does it simply mean that the Administration will continue to do what it wants, stalling with theories of expansive executive power until it can get a judge to back it up?