Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Jonathan Alter, legal eagle: Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter reveals that President Bush had both New York Times executive editor Bill Keller and publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. in the oval office and pleaded with them not to reveal the NSA's surveillance of international communications during a time of war.
(There is no word on whether or not the oval office had to be fumigated immediately afterwards.)
Alter denies that the reason Bush made this request was because he was concerned about national security, instead Alter claims:
No, Bush was desperate to keep the Times from running this important story—which the paper had already inexplicably held for a year—because he knew that it would reveal him as a law-breaker. He insists he had “legal authority derived from the Constitution and congressional resolution authorizing force.” But the Constitution explicitly requires the president to obey the law.
Damn! How many law classes did Alter take before he figured out that one?
Alter's article is just so much idiocy. He links Bush to Nixon's plumbers and suggests that a Democrat House in 2006 might impeach him. What Alter, who does not appear to have any legal education whatsoever, ignores is the very distinct possibility that what the president did was completely legal.
*UPDATE* Check out this off-the-cuff analysis by Powerline's John Hinderaker -- someone who actually possesses a law degree.
*UPDATE2* Also check out this article from the Wall Street Journal editorial page.