"If you think it disrespectful to discuss dictators, President Bush and the Constitution in the same column, be sure to give John Dean a call. The former White House counsel under President Nixon wrote a paper in 2002 in which he discussed the possibility of a America becoming a 'constitutional dictatorship.'
'''The distinction between a 'constitutional dictator' and a strong president is remarkably thin, if nonexistent,' he wrote.
"All this eavesdropping business reminded me of C. William Michael's 2002 book No Greater Threat: America After September 11 and the Rise of the National Security State.
"Besides providing a detailed analysis of the USA Patriot Act, he lays out the 12 most common characteristics of a national security state."