Blue Wall of Lawlessness

The NYPD has a long-standing reputation for its "excessive" surveillance. Now more than ever.

It is part of Michael Bloomberg's job to check his police department's abuses of the Constitution. He has been a failure in that regard. And where is the City Council—the strong voice of Christine Quinn and the blaring presence of civil rights activist Councilman Charles Barron, who is also, unaccountably, a supporter of Robert Mugabe, the crusher of the people of Zimbabwe? There is no equivalent of the Handschu decree in Harare.

Meanwhile, as the mayor is watching over us, with many Republicans and Democrats uneasy at the presidential choices before them, there are continuing reports that Bloomberg may run as an independent. He has increasing national name recognition and can easily self-fund a start. As he considers the reasons for the acute failure of the Bush presidency, Bloomberg, a quick study, may recognize that, along with the Iraq War, there are other causes of the president losing the confidence of Americans and the world.

By secretly allowing the National Security Agency to utterly ignore the law to collect and collate millions of Americans' phone calls and e-mails, Bush added to the fearful apprehension that we are living in a surveillance society. And by permitting the CIA to be a law unto itself and enabling it to kidnap European citizens to "render" them to countries known for torturing prisoners, he has undermined relations with important allies.

Democratic Senator Frank Church: Constitutional enemy of FBI, CIA and NSA.
Democratic Senator Frank Church: Constitutional enemy of FBI, CIA and NSA.

Should Michael Bloomberg become commander in chief, he may—in self-defense—learn to pay attention to our Bill of Rights and international treaties, despite his current gratification at continuing J. Edgar Hoover's legacy in New York City.

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