I just watched Abu on Charlie Rose, and I'm fairly stunned at the ease with which Abu can say that Congress signed away their authority when they passed the use of force resolution after 9/11. He blandly, looking bored, tells Rose that Congress' complaints about domestic spying are irrelevant because Bush has the wheel now.
The Cheney administration justifies the spying explicitly forbidden by the FISA law in two ways: inherent executive power ("If the President does it, then it's legal") and the use of force resolution (which they refuse to admit now, was "go kill Osama and defeat the Taliban.")
Abu said "war" probably 2 dozen times. Note to Abu: Congress never declared war.
Abu is also fond of bringing up old Presidents who spied, but he never mentions the important point that FISA was passed in 1978, thereby making his talking points irrelevant.
In defending his interpretation that the resolution authorized the President to do anything he desires, he invokes the memories of 9/11. (Paraphrasing) "Think about your state of mind after those attacks; we didn't know the enemy was, we didn't know if more attacks were on the way, it is important to look at the laws in that context."
Of course he feels that way: it is the Bush legacy. That anytime terrorism is mentioned, Republicans squirt a little urine in their pants. This is the Terrified Presidency; never again will any other executive branch be so completely steeped in fear and try to infect the populace with that fear.
I'll give Abu points for this: he's a slippery motherfucker. Rose lamely tried to pin him down on the program's effectiveness, and Abu refused to answer directly. Instead, he pointed at everyone else in the executive branch as saying it was effective. So if the corporate media ever bothers to dig out the details in the future, and it comes out as it inevitably will that the domestic spying unnecessarily trampled our rights while playing no part in the end of the "war;" Abu can say "well, I never said it was effective or necessary.
Cheney, of course, just lies. He was quoted by Rose as saying it has already saved thousands of lives. How beautiful is that? While every known inside source has readily admitted that the NSA domestic spying program has only resulted in wasting thousands of FBI man-hours chasing ghosts, Dick takes credit for stopping multiple 9/11s. What an asshole.