Charles Krauthammer: Pushing the envelope, NSA-style
The problem here is not constitutionality. It's practicality. Legally this is fairly straightforward. But between intent and execution lies a shadow - the human factor, the possibility of abuse. And because of the scope and power of the NSA, any abuse would have major consequences for civil liberties.
We need a toughening of both congressional oversight and judicial review, perhaps even some independent outside scrutiny.
The object is not to abolish these vital programs. It's to fix them. Not exactly easy to do amid the current state of national agitation - provoked largely because such intrusive programs require a measure of trust in government and this administration has forfeited that trust amid an unfolding series of scandals and a basic problem with truth-telling.
Every spying program is a compromise between liberty and security.
Yet, here is a President who campaigned on the proposition that he would transcend such pedestrian considerations. "We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals," he declared in his first inaugural address, no less.
Nor does it help that just three weeks ago the President issued a major foreign-policy manifesto whose essential theme was that the War on Terror is drawing to a close and its very legal underpinning, the September 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, should be not just reformed but repealed to prevent "keeping America on a perpetual wartime footing."
. Charles Krauthammer is a columnist for The Washington Post.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Syracuse, Iowa crowned top party schools - 0
- Parking fines cause disputes, raise revenues - 1
- Jon Cavaiani dies at 70; desperate stand in '71 led to Medal of Honor - 0
- Meriam Ibrahim, family welcomed as long journey ends in Manchester - 2
- Moose International files suit to claim Claremont lodge - 0
- NH man's wife flies to Rome, meets Pope Francis after giving birth on death row in Sudan - 2
- Manchester postpones Fourth of July celebration - 0
- Reports say Sudanese Christian woman released; Manchester relative hopeful - 0
- 'Cadillac' health tax costs draw big worry - 13
READER COMMENTS: 0
- NH Motor Speedway to again host two Sprint Cup Series weekends in 2015 - 0
- St. Anselm football players practice ini August heat - 0
- White, Glenn lift Fisher Cats over Harrisburg, 6-4 - 0
- KSC field hockey first in coaches poll - 0
- New England Patriots guard Mankins traded to Tampa for TE Wright - 0
- NH Fisher Cat Lee still striving for making it to the major leagues - 0
- Former city restaurateur gets jail sentence for sex assault - 0
- Former high school art teacher gets suspended sentence in drug case - 0
- New Manchester school district standards to give teachers more leeway - 0
Backyard boulder kills Raymond homeowner
Market Basket: 'So close, yet so far'
KSC field hockey first in coaches poll
Reports: Market Basket doomsday plan would shutter 61 of 71 stores if deal not struck soon
GOP for legal pot? Hemignway's high help
Ohio's Rob Portman: GOP can win back Senate