I didn't know the American Bar Association was into polling but I find the
results very interesting and possibly the most accurate to date:
According to a poll commissioned by the American Bar Association and
released today, 52 percent of respondents said that in the fight against
terrorism, the President of the United States alone cannot suspend
constitutional freedoms, with an additional 25 percent saying he must obtain
authorization by a court of law or Congress. Thus 77 percent of Americans
express deep reservations about the presidentÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s secret surveillance program.
The telephone poll conducted by Harris InteractiveÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â® over the past weekend
found that only 18 percent of respondents believe the president can suspend
constitutional freedoms "anytime the President thinks it is necessary to
protect the country."
"While everyone agrees on the need for aggressive deterrence of
terrorism, the disclosure of unchecked domestic spying by the president is
deeply troubling to many Americans," said ABA President Michael S. Greco,
who released the poll results today in a news conference during the ABAÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s
2006 Midyear Meeting in Chicago.
"Our Founders gave us a government that can act swiftly in times of
danger, but also protect our basic freedoms. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s very encouraging that
Americans understand and insist on preserving that balance," he said.
Clearly, Greco said, the poll results demonstrate that Americans are
deeply interested in and alarmed by issues raised by secret spying on
citizensÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ communications by the National Security Agency. "It is a time when
we should be having conversations about our constitutional freedoms as well
as our security," he said. He invited members of the public to download
their own free copy of the Constitution and learn more about the
Constitution and presidential war powers at http://abaconstitution.org, and
to express their own views on domestic surveillance in a separate poll
Now that our national legal association is coming out and saying there is
mass problems with the President's assumption of authority, will he seek to
change it. He thinks he has a winning program here, yet every time he talks
about the program he seems to get himself into more trouble.
reporting that the Senate Intelligence Committee is set to vote this week on
rather or not to hold hearings and it looks like that vote will pass.
This coming week is not going to be any better. The Senate intelligence
committee is likely to vote to open an investigation into the NSA's
wiretapping program, according to senior congressional aides who declined to
be identified discussing sensitive matters. The chairman of the committee,
Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, will probably follow the White House line and
try to keep a lid on the hearings. But three RepublicansÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬ÂChuck Hagel of
Nebraska, Olympia Snowe of Maine and Mike DeWine of OhioÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âare expected to
join with the Democrats on the committee to vote to demand more information
about the secret eavesdropping program from the White House and intelligence
What it all boils down to is that this debate is here to stay and will not go
away until changes are made or the President pulls a "convincing" rabbit out of
the hat. It is going to be interesting to see where this story goes in the