Senator Mike DeWine is set to introduce a bill in the Senate to retroactively legalize Bush’s NSA wiretapping program; which begs the question, why does Congress need to ratify it if it is, indeed, legal as the President’s tools in Congress claim?
DeWine’s bill would make it a crime to intentionally disclose information identifying or describing Bush’s big brother program. There is no provision in the bill that such a disclosure must harm national security, nor any exemption for whistle-blowers or journalists. Anyone could be subject to fines up to $1 million or 15 years in jail or both, presumably including opposition Senators. The bill places the program permanently in a secret deep-freeze and beyond public scrutiny without any proof that this program is required for national security or is in any way effective in fighting terror. In essence, the GOP is saying, "Trust us, or go to jail."
If that’s not tyranny, the word has no meaning. The hallmark of a free society is the public accountability of power and the rule of law; DeWine’s bill eliminates both at a stroke. Passage of DeWine’s bill would constitute a constitutional coup by the GOP. The President would henceforth be legally unaccountable for any action plausibly colorable as being in furtherence of national security. Despite the continued trappings of a civilized society, we would be living in a police state and our only security would lie in the restraint of the rulers.