Ever since the Magna Carta, a fundamental part of British and American law is that rulers are constrained - that kings or prime ministers or presidents or governors are themselves subject to the rule of law.
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In the 1970s, President Nixon grossly violated the public trust. He broke the law, was caught and resigned.
Three decades later, President George W. Bush violated the law. But this criminal act violates our form of government to the core, because President Bush claims this fundamental principle no longer applies. He claims that by presidential decree, he is not subject to laws that were legally adopted under the Constitution and clearly intended to limit the actions of government.
Excuses about national security concerns are hollow because the law provides for quickly obtainable warrants to allow legal surveillance. With the administration acting outside the law, no check or balance will assure that spying has anything to do with national security.
While President Bush is obviously a member of one political party, this should not be a partisan issue. The rule of law, however flawed, is what has made this country possible for two centuries. Flawed, but possible. Rejecting the rule of law threatens everyone of all parties. To the core.
For this, the entire nation should repudiate him. Impeach President Bush.