If you were Christmas shopping on December 19, you may have missed an important press conference. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Deputy Director of National Intelligence Gen. Mike Hayden answered questions about eavesdropping on Americans by the National Security Agency, which Hayden directed from 1999 to 2005, in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). More Kabuki dance than press conference, the event was not given much play in the media. However, the implications for privacy-and for our constitutional system of checks and balances-are immense. We do well to explore those implications.
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