The brazenness is just so breathtaking.
Secret wiretaps were required for national security, when they could wiretap anyone they liked for 72 hours and get a court order to continue it?
National security has been compromised by the NYT article, when any terrorists operating here would know they might be wiretapped? The lack of court approval was supposed to throw them off guard?
My guess is that they were wiretapping people in the Executive Branch they didn't trust, or journalists, or prominent Democrats, or people like George Soros, or each other, or all of the above.
By the lights of John Yoo's constitutional "theory," I would assume that Bush claims the constitutional authority to declare martial law and suspend all civil liberties and elections, so long as in his judgment this is part of fighting the "war on terror."