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I was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator and am now a journalist. I am the author of three New York Times bestselling books -- "How Would a Patriot Act" (a critique of Bush executive power theories), "Tragic Legacy" (documenting the Bush legacy), and With Liberty and Justice for Some (critiquing America's two-tiered justice system and the collapse of the rule of law for its political and financial elites). My fifth book - No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the US Surveillance State - will be released on April 29, 2014 by Holt/Metropolitan.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Follow-up to the hearings

I wasn't able to live-blog as much of the hearings as I intended because Blogspot had some periodic problems and I did several radio interviews during the hearings. But the Comments section was certainly vibrant and full of excellent analysis.

I thought that when I debated Professor Turner this morning, I had confronted the most extreme end of the pro-Bush fantacism. But I was mistaken. Tomorrow at 2:10 p.m. EST, I'll be on NPR's To the Point to discuss the NSA hearings with Powerline's John Hinderaker. John is confused that there are any hearings at all, because there is nothing to discuss; it's so clear that the President had the right to eavesdrop outside of FISA that there's no issue at all. I'm looking forward to that discussion.

I'm working on a post regarding my view of today's hearings and where I think we go from here, which I'll have posted somewhat later. I thought today was most notable for its lack of surprises. The Democrats did better than they did at Alito but not great. The Republicans did not fail to display their fundamental Bush loyalty. And Gonzales recited his script quite faithfully, with a few exceptions. The Administration has baldly stated its view that the President has the power to exercise all incidents of war - including against Americans within the U.S. - without any interference from the courts or congress. That view is now out in the open for all to see.

Thus, in the absence of the emergence of smoking gun evidence reflecting abuse, where this scandal goes from here will, I believe, depend on what the media does with it and what the public is tolerates and demands.

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