Damn it. In plotting our conspiracy to violently overthrow the government of the United States, my comrades and I have been careful not to communicate via email or telephone because we know how easily these communications can be intercepted by a Bush administration unfettered by the First Amendment. But now we can’t even rely on old-fashioned snail mail anymore:
President Bush has quietly claimed sweeping new powers to open Americans’ mail without a judge’s warrant, the Daily News has learned.
The President asserted his new authority when he signed a postal reform bill into law on Dec. 20. Bush then issued a “signing statement” that declared his right to open people’s mail under emergency conditions.
That claim is contrary to existing law and contradicted the bill he had just signed, say experts who have reviewed it.
[…] Most of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act deals with mundane reform measures. But it also explicitly reinforced protections of first-class mail from searches without a court’s approval.
Yet in his statement Bush said he will “construe” an exception, “which provides for opening of an item of a class of mail otherwise sealed against inspection in a manner consistent … with the need to conduct searches in exigent circumstances.”
Yeah… yeah… I know what the righty trolls are going to say. I hate America. I love Osama bin Laden. Lefty wingbats like me are at least as dangerous as the terrorists we mollycoddle.
But I’d just like you righties to pause for a moment and imagine it was a President Clinton (Bill or Hillary) who was asserting the unitary executive doctrine and the power to “construe” legislation as he or she chooses. Imagine it was a President Clinton claiming the power to invade your privacy simply by declaring “exigent circumstances.”
Would you still defend the President? Or might you start wondering if the means by which the administration is fighting the War on Terror might be destroying the very democratic principles we’re attempting to defend?
I’m just askin’.