A lawsuit filed Monday on behalf of author Studs Terkel and other professionals seeks to stop AT&T from giving customer phone records to the National Security Agency without a court order.This is well past the unitary executive, it's the unitary government. No separation of powers, no checks, no balances. There's a name for a government where the leader has no accountability, it's a name attached to people like Stalin, Mussolini and Pol Pot.
The plaintiffs, who also include a doctor and a state lawmaker, said they rely on confidentiality in their work and are worried their clients will be less likely to phone them if they think the government collects lists of the numbers they are calling. …
The Bush administration has urged a judge to dismiss a similar case, saying it threatens to divulge state secrets and jeopardize national security. The government argued in briefs that the courts cannot decide the constitutionality of the president's asserted wartime powers to eavesdrop on Americans without warrants.
We have a system, and a good system. It keeps the government accountable, it protects citizens from the power of elected officials. It's unfortunate that the people in power have so little respect for that simple, successful and elegant system.