President Bush yesterday owned up to having authorized the N.S.A. to monitor the private communications of US citizens without the need to obtain a court order. I realize we are at war, but this is wrong, and I am angry about it. I am annoyed not only because it is exactly the sort of thing that goes on in the Orwellian police states we are supposed to be setting ourselves in opposition to, but also because I have at considerable social cost defended the Bush administration’s foreign policy for years now, while he can’t even manage to keep up his end of the bargain by not appearing at every opportunity to be exactly the conniving and hubristic autocrat his more hysterical opponents have always made him out to be.
Obviously his political foes will seize hungrily upon this. I think it is going to be a very serious problem for him, and rightly so.