Monday, August 06, 2007
The Congress yesterday passed legislation that essentially allows the National Security Agency to continue its program of unwarranted surveillance of electronic communications between people inside the United States and overseas, at least under certain circumstances.
The editors of the Washington Post are outraged. They may be right on the substance -- I admit that I do not actually fear this legislation nearly as much as I imagine I should -- but the Post is, I think, disingenuous in the assignment of "blame":
To call this legislation ill-considered is to give it too much credit: It was scarcely considered at all. Instead, it was strong-armed through both chambers by an administration that seized the opportunity to write its warrantless wiretapping program into law -- or, more precisely, to write it out from under any real legal restrictions. (bold emphasis added)
I was unaware that President Bush -- who has less political influence than half the bloggers at YearlyKos -- was in a position to strong-arm the Democratic leadership of the United States Congress. The very idea is as absurd as it is intellectually dishonest. The Post simply prefers to denounce the strawman "strongarm" tactics of the administration than admit to the more likely explanation that most Americans believe that if you phone somebody named Mohammad inside a Muslim police state known to fund, harbor, or suffer to exist terrorists the NSA should listen to your conversation. Apparently more than a few Democrats in Congress agree with that position, or are unwilling to be caught arguing the other side of it.
Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 08/06/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.
Fracture lines: Pelosi (at the behest of Kos) issued a press release demanding that Reyes and Conyers gut the measure and require warrants through FISA for all listening in.
This will put Blue Dogs right on the spot. Vote Kos and be politically destroyed (even if there is no mass casualty attack by Al Qaeda). Or go against Pelosi and face the Nutroots/Pelosi wrath.
Talk Radio will love this: it puts Dems solidly on the side of the enemy instead of America. And if there is a mass-casualty attack GWB can point to Dems and say "I wanted to stop it but they thought privacy for terrorists was more important."
So no TH, you were wrong. It's going to be fought over again. Likely the Blue Dogs will fall over the cliff with the Kos lemmings. We will have a mass attack. And Reps/Talk Radio/GWB will point out it could have been stopped but Dems cared too much about privacy for terrorists.
Anon, I hope you're not as blase about an attack and eager to say We-told-you-so as you sound.
The WaPo is indeed casting about wildly for explanations. They cannot frame this in anything but a political fashion. The idea that people could have the program and its value described to them and be convinced that it was necessary seems not to occur to them. It is too-little reported that despite the clear legal edginess of the privacy concerns of these various programs, the people who have been told the details, Democrat and Republican, conservative and liberal, have thought them appropriate.
No I am not blase. But I understand stupid. Dems literally think:
1. We deserve to be attacked.
2. If we are it's no big thing.
Both are wrong but come from the way Dems are: too much money, social isolation, hatred/fear of ordinary people, constant struggle for status which defines their lives. They literally would rather die in a terrorist attack than do something un-PC. Kos Diaries are there saying just such things. For them it makes sense: mating and job success depends on the right set of aristo politics.
Bird: I am far more concerned about Google finding everything there is about me and selling it off aggregated with others for money, possibly to the Chinese. My life is so boring that even the most dedicated Fed would rather watch paint dry. Which I suspect is the reality for even famous celebrities. Even a Lindsay Lohan can be boring at the breakfast table, lounging around, particularly talking.
It's reported that the UK Doctors who set themselves on fire in the Glasgow airport had email contacts with plotters here. So yeah, we can figure an attack is coming.
But, Dems can deny the reality as their masters at Kos hold their reins