Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Spies Who Loved Us All

They must love us liberals, right? I mean, they're spying on us all. They're spying on a "Vegan Community Project". They're spying on PETA and Greenpeace. And they're spying on the Catholic Workers, for crying out loud. Personally, I'm most frightened of those vegans. Back off. Keep away from my flank steak.

The FBI assures us that this is all about criminal activity. Certainly not about stopping peaceful protest or quelling activists who have non-Republican points of view. Yet the FBI Counterterrorist agents are the ones doing the spying. Not just spying, but launching terrorism investigations. Do you see a lot of reason for suspecting terrorism in the Catholic Workers or the Vegans? Let's call it terrorism so we can keep an eye on what the domestic enemy (aka liberals and Democrats) is doing.

Says the ACLU: "The FBI should use its resources to investigate credible threats to national security instead of spending time tracking innocent Americans who criticize government policy, or monitoring groups that have not broken the law."

Says the ACLU. "It's clear that this administration has engaged every possible agency, from the Pentagon to N.S.A. to the F.B.I., to engage in spying on Americans."

Says me. Uh huh.

Bush and party continue to come out swinging on the rightness (pun intended) of spying on Americans through all various agencies, including and particularly the NSA. His attorney general says it's been authorized by Congress (because Congress authorized going to war against Iraq). He and Bush both say that the President has power to do this under the Constitution (because he's Commander in Chief).

Really, I've got to reread that Constitution. I just do not remember anything in there about Presidents being allowed to suspend laws.

A more serious analysis of these arguments can be found here. And a somewhat similar discussion here. Or here. From these, I am frightened to learn that the President has more leg to stand on than I would have thought, based on somewhat tentatively related previous cases. But it's all very tentative and up for debate, particularly the Constitutional argument. No one thinks he's definitely in the clear. Some think he doesn't have a leg. Some think he does.

Whether he does or doesn't, what is clear is that no one is very happy with Bush's actions. The outrage in Congress, on both sides of the aisle, is palpable. Yet, after this weekend of media blitz, his ratings are rising. God, are we really that dumb? "Oh, we had to do it to protect you and couldn't use a court that would allow even us to act RETROACTIVELY because terrorism is a bad bogeyman and will get you in time travel."

At least someone in America is acting in an intelligent and rational fashion. The Dover judge ruled against intelligent design in the schools. Yippee!

Join the guerilla movement for impeachment. I've already got my signs on my front door.

Until tomorrow,


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