Lost in the fuss the New York Times and other major media outlets are making over the suddenly hot topic of 'warrantless' searches as posited on the pages of the Times, is the fact that every President since at least Carter has claimed this privilege, and in fact it was expanded under the Clinton Administration through the mouthpiece of the hypocrtical Jamie Gorelick in 1994.
Perhaps the New York Times would care to explain why it was perfectly legal and not worthy of a hysterical front-page article during the Clinton Administration (A Demcratic Administration, if you recall), but now, that we are engaged in a war to the death with Islamic terrorists who have proven time and again that they respect the law of neither God nor Man, that these same provisions (when used by a Republican President) are somehow terrifying? This despite the fact that Clinton's Administraiton lied under oath (Lewinsky), ignored court orders (Elian Gonzalez), and massacred American citizens (Waco)- none of which has occurred under the Administration of George W. Bush!
Charles Hurt in the Washington Times makes the (I believe legitimate) argument that the President does indeed have the power to order such searches, and makes the point that both previous aAdministrations and the courts have entirely and consistently agreed with him, even in the case of FISA. Mr. Hurt is backed up by the research of the guys at Power Line who have done some serious research and have concluded that the Preseident's actions are legal, no matter which yeardstick has been used. They also quote from usually-liberal law professor Cass Sundstein, who agrees with them that this is part and parcel of the President's authority under the Constitutions- which neither Congress nor the Courts can lightly disregard.
Now when is the New York Times going to spend this kind of energy on researching and exposing a truly illegal act- the leaking of the NSA material to them in the first place? I''m not holding my breath....
Hat tip to Matt Drudge and the guys at the Power Line.