From the very beginning after the shock of watching 9/11 live on television started to wear off I insisted that the terrorists would win if we significantly changed the American way of life, particularly curbing civil liberties and the erasure of portions (important portions, it turns out) of the Constitution itself predicated on Executive branch power. Not an executive's powers while at war but the power that every executive has at his command as President.
The makeup of these new powers consist largely of being able to nullify large parts of the First and Fourth amendments. The most controversial part of this was the warrantless wiretapping because it violates practically every clause of the Fourth Amendment that establishes a Constitutional search. No warrant is issued. No solemn oath is sworn out to establish probable cause. The scope of the search is not limited in any respect whatsoever: if it's on the lines the government could listen to it even if they have no idea what they are looking for.
When I complained about these broad new powers I was told by supporters of President Bush "If you haven't done anything illegal you shouldn't have a problem with the government listening to your conversations." Never mind the fact that an oppressive government that could arbitrarily and capriciously persecute any citizen it wanted was precisely what the Founding Fathers were fleeing from and what they were trying to avoid when they wrote the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The British government could conduct searches and seizures whenever they wanted and Parliament could pass a bill of attainder that essentially outlawed a specific citizen, both of which the Founding Fathers barred from our government's toolbox.
Something I did find most interesting was that people who agreed with the politics of the President in office were largely willing to accept unchecked power even though there were steps that the government had taken that remained concealed to the public until the next administration would release the documents. I never got a satisfactory answer to this when I asked the people that were in favor of these executive powers if they would support those powers if they were passed on to the next President whom they almost completely disagreed with. They seemed to rather not want to contemplate such a situation. Now that there is a President in the White House that makes some Republicans paranoid that he is building concentration camps for his political enemies, laying the groundwork for a dictatorship, etc. I am prepared to ask the question again. Are you willing to give such broad and sweeping powers to presidents of both parties ad infinitum to use on American citizens as they see fit without having to explain it to a court and offering few avenues of recourse to challenge the government's actions.