You all know how I feel about Hitchens, but Chris joining the ACLU over this is pretty amazing.
ZAHN: But would the U.S. government have a reason...
HITCHENS: Warrantless wiretapping -- warrantless wiretapping is unconstitutional.
And can I just say that your reporter was exactly right when he said that, until this was outed, the administration had no comment. You and I are not supposed to be having this conversation. We're not supposed to know that this is even a controversy. Well, now we do. And now the administration has changed its tone.
It doesn't say it's treason to be talking about it. It is going to have hearings in Congress next month, as it should have already, and it's going to face a lawsuit.
HITCHENS: Well, frivolous, none of us are. I don't think our worst enemies would say that of us.
We're filing in the Eastern District of Michigan, which is the district, which in 1972, ruled that warrantless wiretapping of Americans was unconstitutional. And the Supreme Court eventually upheld that. It is called the Keith case. It did a lot of damage to the horrific Richard Nixon.
And, remember, when you think of that name, any power you give now to any government or administration or any right you surrender to it is surrendered for good. All future administrations can use that power any way they like. Is it no good to say, we're only using it to stop attacks, when they used to say, we're not doing it at all.
HITCHENS: What are they ashamed of?
ZAHN: Christopher, is there any instance where you would support domestic spying or unauthorized wiretaps in this war on terror?
HITCHENS: Well, you ask me domestic spying and all unauthorized wiretaps, that's tough.
Let me put it like this. There are people I can think of easily within the United States who the president should be impeached if he wasn't wiretapping. If you feel that you're on to someone or some group like that, you can wiretap them for 72 hours and still go to a judge and still ask for an authorization. It's still legal to do that.
HITCHENS: That's pretty wide, I would say. And, therefore, if you feel to that extent, I'm ready to sleep at night. But you notice that those who support this policy, which they kept secret from us until recently, now say, well, actually, we don't really like the original act at all. We -- we don't like the FISA that guarantees this or the courts that it sets up.
Well, in that case, they must go to Congress and ask for it to be changed. They can't act as if it's a law, but they don't have to obey it.