Blogs > Liberty and Power > "Libertarian" Talk-Show Host Needs "Help" (Warrantless Wiretaps)

Aug 18, 2006 5:35 pm


"Libertarian" Talk-Show Host Needs "Help" (Warrantless Wiretaps)



I made the mistake of listening this morning to Neal Boortz, a self-described libertarian radio call-in host who is also a consistent defender of Bush's foreign policy. He was talking to a pro-administration lawyer (I didn't catch his name) who waxed outraged about the ruling against the NSA's warrantless wiretaps.

As expected, Boortz provided a sympathetic ear. The conversation suddenly took an unpredictable turn, however, when Boortz asked the lawyer to"help me." Boortz said he needed to come up with an"answer" to a common criticism of the wiretaps. Why, he asked, did Bush need this authority since the law gave him unchecked power to wiretap for up to 72 hours?

The lawyer seemed dumbfounded by the question, mumbling something to the effect that he was not an expert on that issue and that others knew better than he. Finally, he struggled to regain his righteous indignation. He pronounced that it was"obvious" that any restriction on NSA power was illegitimate because"the president's" motivation in such cases was always the protection of national security and could never be criminal.

Boortz, who built his ratings base by portraying President Clinton as a power-mad, raping, enemy of liberty, meekly backed off and that was that.

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