Reagan judge blasts Bush.
A Reagan-appointed judge has openly criticized President George Bush. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth has said that the president's use of warrantless wiretaps are a flagrant assault on civil liberties. Even something like the “war on terror” does not justify eroding constitutional rights.
“We have to understand you can fight the war and lose everything if you have no civil liberties left when you get through fighting the war.”
Lamberth served as a judge on the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court from 1995 to 2002. This court was established precisely to hear the need for wiretapping. Lamberth says it is simply false, as the White House claims, that there are cases so urgent that there is no time to go to the court for permission.
Lamberth says that on 9/11 he was on the highway near the Pentagon when the hijacked airplane hit the building. He called federal marshals to come get him so he could get to work, understanding his presence was crucial under these circumstances. But while waiting he was able to use his cell phone to approve five warrants. He said he has approved warrants in the middle of the night as well.
He said that separation of powers must be protected because “what we have found in the history of our country is that you can’t trust the executive.” Amen.
Now Democrats. Remember this is true even when someone you like is the executive!