Friday, March 17, 2006
Unlike Sen. Russell Feingold, the Wisconsin Democrat seeking to censure President Bush for ordering the interception of communications in and out of the U.S. involving persons with suspected links to al Qaeda, Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt had no qualms about warrantless eavesdropping to protect the U.S. against attack.
Neither did Harry Truman.
There is a difference, however, between the eavesdropping Roosevelt and Truman authorized and the eavesdropping Bush is doing. Roosevelt and Truman did it in peacetime without congressional authorization. Bush is doing it during a war that Sen. Feingold voted on Sept. 14, 2001 to authorize.
Nonetheless, Roosevelt and Truman acted within their constitutional authority to defend the nation against attack. They were doing their duty, as is President Bush.