I have nothing original to add to the discussion about the NSA warrantless wiretapping program. (Substantively, I doubt that the program itself represents a major threat to civil liberty.) But, not wanting to remain entirely silent, let me try to sum up in one sentence what seems to be the central question of principle posed by the case:
Does the President have the Constitutional authority to violate criminal laws whenever he judges, in his sole discretion, that those laws might interfere with defending the country?
It is logically possible to answer that question in the affirmative. But no one who does so can properly call himself “conservative.”