Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Great Bush Wiretapping Flip-Flop

Some months ago, Republican partisans were howling about John Kerry's indecisiveness. Kerry, they claimed, was "a flip-flopper" who could never make up his mind.

Let's hope these same folks are still on consistency patrol in Washington, where the Bush Department of Justice (remember Attorney General Alberto Gonzales?) has suddenly reversed itself on the issue of judicial oversight of domestic warrantless wiretaps.

Gonzales announced today that the Administration will allow a special Federal court to monitor domestic wiretaps, contrary to its earlier position. The Administration's new policy is a concession to the Democrats and other critics, who had argued that the warrantless wiretaps were unauthorized if not illegal.

As civil libertarians, we at AltTulsa were always opposed to warrantless domestic wiretaps, which violated both the spirit and the letter of American jurisprudence. So the Administration's reversal is welcome news for U.S. citizens.

Questioned about the reversal on MSNBC's Countdown, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley said the Administration was again "gaming the legal system," having asserted a dubious legal authority and backing down when challenged.

Turley's right. He was just too polite to call it flip-flopping.

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