I’m quite a bit late to the game on this, but I figured I’d tackle the issue anyway.
Last Thursday, Judge Anna Diggs Taylor ruled the NSA’s secret wiretapping program unconstituitional. Now, provided that this ruluing eventually becomes settled law, the question remains: Can we impeach Bush? It stands to reason that if this program is ultimately deemed unconstitutional, then by authorizing the program, President Bush has violated his oath of office which is a certainly impeachable offense.
I’ve read through the entire ruling and while some of the points seem foreign to me, I understand the gist of ruling as a whole. The Bush Administration’s assertion that proceeding with the case would provide disclosure of “state secrets” appears to hold no water according to Judge Taylor. One of the most salient points in the ruling is this:
It is undisputed that Defendants have publicly admitted to the following: (1) the TSP exists; (2) it operates without warrants; (3) it targets communications where one party to the communication is outside the United States, and the government has a reasonable basis to conclude that one party to the communication is a member of al Qaeda, affiliated with al Qaeda, or a member of an organization affiliated with al Qaeda, or working in support of al Qaeda. As the Government has on many occasions confirmed the veracity of these allegations, the state secrets privilege does not apply to this information.
I think it was the admission of the program (after its announcement by the MSM of course) and its pertinent details by the Bush Administration that invalidated the state secrets defense. Many on the right, from the beginning of the public’s awareness of the program, have denounced the media for even reporting the scantest details of this program. Regardless, the program has been deemed unconstitutional and if the verdict stands throughout the appeals process, Bush will get to be one step closer to Clinton.
The complete ruling by Judge Taylor can be found here, courtesy CNN.