Here's a decent article that demonstrates, beyond any doubt, that Commander Chimpy is simply lying about his rationale for illegal wiretapping (emphasis added):
What is especially perplexing about this story is that the 1978 law set up a special court to approve eavesdropping in hours, even minutes, if necessary. In fact, the law allows the government to eavesdrop on its own, then retroactively justify it to the court, essentially obtaining a warrant after the fact. Since 1979, the FISA court has approved tens of thousands of eavesdropping requests and rejected only four. There was no indication the existing system was slow—as the president seemed to claim in his press conference—or in any way required extra-constitutional action.
In short, there was already a mechanism in place to do exactly what Bush claimed he needed to break the law to do. And as for the New York Times:
I learned this week that on December 6, Bush summoned Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and executive editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office in a futile attempt to talk them out of running the story. The Times will not comment on the meeting, but one can only imagine the president’s desperation.
You know, given the journalistic clusterfuck that the New York Times has turned into, and the fact that the Times sat on this story for over a year before finally publishing it, I don't think a "No comment" is going to cut it anymore. The Times owes everybody an explanation as to what happened here. Then they need to start firing people, preferably from the top down.
AND AS FOR THAT "OVERSIGHT" THING: As for Bush's claims that he kept the right people in the loop and informed and consulted with Congressional leaders, well, here's an example of one Congressional leader who was clearly frustrated about not getting useful information about all of this and was clearly covering his ass for the day when all of this was going to explode.
THAT DELIGHTFUL NEO-CON LOGIC: Tangentially related to Sen. Rockefeller's letter, we have this piece over at Think Progress. But it's not the article itself, it's the first comment I want to draw your attention to, in which someone is apparently defending Bush's actions thusly:
What President Bush is actually guilty of is most likely using bad judgment to make a decision on a snap issue. If this was a crime he may be a repeat offender. However, as of right now President Bush is only guilty of not following proper procedures in regards to having an individual spied upon, he is not legally breaking any regulations or laws established denying his privilege to authorize spying, he basically is just not following the proper rules.
So ... Bush is not breaking the law, per se, he's just ... "not following the proper rules".
Some things just snark themselves, don't they?