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Purgegate and NSA spying: Pieces of a larger plot?

On more than one occasion, I have put forth my belief that the Bush administration sought to keep their activities regarding the warrantless wiretapping scandal a secret was because the surveillance may have had far more to do with the political leanings of the individuals being surveilled then whether or not they had any links to terror. As the Purgegate scandal has progressed, it has only solidified those beliefs.

As Christopher Hayes says, it's merely a matter of connecting the dots.
As the details of the US attorney purge leak out, it's clear that the Bush administration sought to convert the Justice Department into a partisan sledgehammer reminiscent of the way Nixon subverted the machinery of the state to pursuing his own petty vendettas. So here's the next question: We know that the administration has the power to wiretap any American it wants. Back during the Nixon administration, the White House used similar powers to spy on political enemies. Has the Bush administration done the same? As of now there's no evidence that they have, but given their record, and the hyper partisan mo that the most recent scandal is illuminating, it seems like a perfectly reasonable question to ask.

Reasonable indeed. As several irate bloggers have noted, the Bushies used the Patriot Act, a piece of legislation we were told was vital to our anti-terrorism efforts, for decidedly non-terrorism related causes. Who's to say that the warrantless spying was not used in a similar fashion?

Perhaps its time someone asked.

(Filed at State of the Day)