FDR led the way

A little perspective, please, on the so-called domestic spying by Bush, a favorite item with bashers everywhere:

An obvious problem with the current debate over NSA surveillance is that it's been personalized around President Bush. Many critics of the surveillance have an obvious hatred for the president that colors the way they see the administration's actions. Thus, it's instructive to see how the Roosevelt administration handled a similar situation on the eve of World War II. Our Spectator piece examines FDR's surveillance program -- and finds striking similarities to the present controversy. In researching the article, we obtained relevant memos from Justice Jackson's archives at the Library of Congress that haven't been previously discussed in the press.

Interesting, I’d say.  It’s in an American Spectator piece noted by PowerLine.  It begins:

IN A BOLD AND CONTROVERSIAL DECISION, the president authorized a program for the surveillance of communications within the United States, seeking to prevent acts of domestic sabotage and espionage. In so doing, he ignored a statute that possibly forbade such activity, even though high-profile federal judges had affirmed the statute's validity. The president sought statutory amendments allowing this surveillance but, when no such legislation was forthcoming, he continued the program nonetheless. And when Congress demanded that he disclose details of the surveillance program, the attorney general said, in no uncertain terms, that it would get nothing of the sort.

In short, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt charted a bold course in defending the nation's security in 1940, when he did all of these things.

And he did so before Pearl Harbor, while Bush’s surveillance is after our Pearl Harbor, 9/11.  He acted before we were at war, Bush after it.

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