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Did the Bush administration try to spy illegally on Juan Cole?

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This NYT story presents evidence strongly suggesting it did.

A few quick thoughts:

(1) I imagine it would surprise most people to discover that it’s still actually illegal for the CIA to spy on Americans inside the United States.

(2) Note that, if the accusations in the story are true, the Bush administration wasn’t attempting to determine if Cole was engaging in espionage, but rather was trying to silence a critic by gathering potentially embarrassing personal information about him of some sort.

(3) I assume that according to the Cheney/Addington/Yoo line of reasoning about inherent Article II presidential powers, the relevant statutes are unconstitutional anyway.

(4) It will be interesting to see if the Obama DOJ shows any interest in investigating this.

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