Ah, as soon as I think that the news has become routine, something new crops up: to add to the now-well-known wiretapping of international phone calls, USA Today now tells us that the NSA has build a database of who called whom domestically, with the help of AT&T, BellSouth, and Verizon (happily, I use none of those). Here's an expansion on the story from the Washington Post.
By now, this has been discussed in nearly every blog that cares about it, and there's not too much more to say. I'll just add my voice to those who point out that this is an illegal invasion of privacy. And I'll repeat my mantra that this president must go.
Update (10:30 a.m.): The Washington Post has a poll that shows that 63% of Americans think this is OK:
The new survey found that 63 percent of Americans said they found the NSA program to be an acceptable way to investigate terrorism, including 44 percent who strongly endorsed the effort. Another 35 percent said the program was unacceptable, which included 24 percent who strongly objected to it.I have to think that this reflects the "I have nothing to hide," attitude that I've often seen. Unfortunately, that quite misses the point of our rules against unreasonable search and seizure, and related civil rights, where are there to defend against abuses by the government. You have nothing to hide until someone decides that you do, and that decision is, as history has often shown us, not under your control.
A slightly larger majority—66 percent—said they would not be bothered if NSA collected records of personal calls they had made, the poll found.
The WaPo also reports today that "impeachment is off the table", according to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi:
Seeking to choke off a Republican rallying cry, the House's top Democrat has told colleagues that the party will not seek to impeach President Bush even if it gains control of the House in November's elections, her office said last night.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) told her caucus members during their weekly closed meeting Wednesday "that impeachment is off the table; she is not interested in pursuing it," spokesman Brendan Daly said.
Update (11:30 a.m.): The New York Times weighs in, with an editorial calling for accountability and limitation of power:
President Bush began his defense of the N.S.A. program yesterday by invoking, as he often does, Sept. 11. The attacks that day firmed the nation's resolve to protect itself against its enemies, but they did not give the president the limitless power he now claims to intrude on the private communications of the American people.
Update (15 May): More recent polls from USA Today and Newsweek differ from the WaPo poll, showing instead that a majority of us do not like this at all. Ah... that's better. It still doesn't do anything about it, but at least it means that we may not be as unaware as the first poll made it seem. (And the Newsweek article contains a great Bush-as-Alfred-E-Neuman photo.)