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Monday, 12 March 2007

When the FBI says 'trust us'

One reason the Bush administration has fared so poorly over the past several years is its obsessive fear of public accountability, separation of powers and checks and balances. From its secret prisons to its classified torture memos, from its clandestine authorization of NSA spying to its efforts to deny the detainees at Guantanamo Bay any access to the writ of habeas corpus, the Bush administration has entered one long plea of "trust us". President Bush is, after all, "the decider".

As the Framers of the US Constitution well understood, such an approach to governance is a recipe for disaster. A recently-released Justice Department audit of the FBI's use of PATRIOT Act authority is the latest example of the consequences that accompany the "trust us" theory of governance