Talking Points Memo | : "I hate to sound melodramatic about it, but while everyone was at the beach or "The Simpsons Movie" on the first weekend in August, the U.S. government shredded the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, the one requiring court-approved "probable cause" before Americans can be searched or spied upon. This is not the feverish imagination of left-wing bloggers and the ACLU. It's the plain truth of where we've come as a country, at the behest of a president who has betrayed his oath to defend the Constitution and with the acquiescence of Democratic congressional leaders who know better. Historians will likely see this episode as a classic case of fear -- both physical and political -- trumping principle amid the ancient tension between personal freedom and national security. [...]Emphasis mine.
Democrats obtained a sunset clause that requires the whole thing to be reauthorized in six months. But real damage has been done. At a minimum, we have suspended the Fourth Amendment for the time being."
Constitutional protections. We used to believe in them. We used to. Evidently, that is pre-9-11 thinking. Back before the terrorists had scared us into giving up basic civil liberties. Shame on Bush and Cheney. Shame on the Democrats for caving on this one. Shame on the entire Republican establishment for giving us this administration.