According to today's Times, the deputy and then acting Attorney General refused requests to authorize it, prompting a visit to John Ashcroft in the hospital, of which attempt there is no evidence of success. So in the eyes of the office of the chief enforcer of our nation's laws, the spying was impermissible, or so it seems. All this would leave for justification is the Constitution. Could it be relevant that Article II says the president "shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed"? How about a law like FISA, pertaining precisely to the action Bush wished to take? I think we need to take back everything we ever said about this president not "doing nuance."