In a strongly worded column last night, Newsweek reporter Jonathan Alter slams President Bush for his illegal actions – spying on Americans with no court approval or oversight. He tells the fascinating story of Bush summoning the New York Times editor and publisher to the Oval Office in an attempt to kill the story.
Alter also says about whoever gave this to the press – “rather than the leaking being a ‘shameful act,’ it was the work of a patriot inside the government who was trying to stop a presidential power grab”.
And to Bush’s motives for trying to spike the story:
“[The President] knew publication would cause him great embarrassment and trouble for the rest of his presidency. It was for that reasonâand less out of genuine concern about national securityâthat George W. Bush tried so hard to kill the New York Times story.”
Finally – and perhaps most important – Alter introduces impeachment into this very serious discussion, and I believe it is justified. If lying about a blow job can get you impeached, eavesdropping on Americans without a court order sure should. What the President did was illegal and immoral, and he and his administration should be held accountable.