“Mr. Snowden has so far revealed not a single abuse of power, much less illegality,” declared he War Street Journal today in a unsigned editorial. To the WSJ, the abolition of the Fourth Amendment, which is what spying on billions of telephone calls and emails is, is not an “abuse of power.” If that is not an abuse of power, then nothing is an abuse of power (to paraphrase Abe Lincoln).
And of course the government exempts itself from myriad laws that the rest of us must abide by, so the argument that there is no “illegality” here (in the WSJ‘s opinion) is a red herring argument. The NSA’s “main offense,” says the neocon tabloid, is that it hands out too many security clearances to people like Edward Snowden.
To bolster its attack on the Fourth Amendment the WSJ also published on the opposite page a “Notable & Quotable” comment by Alan Dershowitz who argues that since the U.S. Postal Service has been spying on us for many years, there is nothing objectionable about still more spying “as technology changes.” This is an example of the kind of constitutional- subversion-by-lawyer that Alexander Hamilton first championed by inventing the notion of “resulting powers” of the Constitution. Hamilton argued that if the government did something that was not a delegated power in the Constitution, the fact that the deed had been done would then create a new legitimate power of the central government. It is this Hamiltonian interpretation of the Constitution that has long dominated Ivy League law schools like Harvard, where Dershowitz teaches.1:30 pm on June 11, 2013 Email Thomas DiLorenzo