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very legal underpinning, the September 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, should be not just reformed but repealed to prevent "keeping America on a perpetual wartime footing."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
- South Africa's Nelson Mandela dies at 95 - 3
- Suicide bomber, gunmen kill 52 in Yemen - 0
- Cases against Keene 'Robin Hooders' dismissed by judge - 10
- Charitable organizations raise money, and lift spirits with Christmas tree sales - 0
- Holiday edition reminder to our readers - 1
- 600 gather for New Horizons soup kitchen, shelter fundraiser - 0
- Conn. school shooting probe ends with gunman's motives unknown - 43
- Railway company proposing Montreal to Portland service through northern NH - 19
- Exeter theater group suspends campaign to save Ioka - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Allen Lessels' UNH Notebook: Wildcats have come a long way - 0
- Another weekend, another three games for Monarchs - 0
- Another View -- Mark S. MacKenzie: Raising minimum wage would lift NH families out of poverty - 0
- Pray for safety: The state did not provide it - 0
- Big league gambling: AG makes right call on casinos - 0
- Students add their special touch to Christmas - 0
- Chargers edge Manning, Broncos, 27-20 - 0
- Iginla strikes twice as red-hot Bruins top Oilers - 0
- NHIAA Roundup: Bow's balance too much for Kearsarge - 0
Symphony NH plans pair of holiday events
Hooksett man arrested on assault charges
Driver was trying to kill himself
NH reps eyeing budget deal
Decision to tap F&G habitat fund explained
Big tipper stops for lunch
Keene to appeal Robin Hood rulings