Both the NY Times and Washington Posts have editorials today slamming Bush. Both papers make it clear that we have a President who does not respect the rule of law.
The editorial from the NY Times kinda sums it up:
President Bush defended the program yesterday, saying it was saving lives, hotly insisting that he was working within the Constitution and the law, and denouncing The Times for disclosing the program's existence. We don't know if he was right on the first count; this White House has cried wolf so many times on the urgency of national security threats that it has lost all credibility. But we have learned the hard way that Mr. Bush's team cannot be trusted to find the boundaries of the law, much less respect them.If you cross the boundaries of the law, you are a criminal. And this was a willful violation of those boundaries. The Washington Post also lays in to Bush:
As with its infamous torture memorandum, the administration appears to have taken the position that the president is entitled to ignore a clearly worded criminal law when it proves inconvenient in the war on terrorism. That argument is not as outlandish in the case of FISA as it is with respect to the torture laws, since administrations of both parties have always insisted on the executive's inherent power to conduct national security surveillance. Still, FISA has been the law of the land for 2 1/2 decades. To disrupt it so fundamentally, in total secret and without seeking legislative authorization, shows a profound disregard for Congress and the laws it passes.If Bush disregards Congress and a "clearly worded criminal" law that it passed, he's a criminal. Because criminals disregard the laws that Congress passes.