Thursday, December 22, 2005

What Kind of Government Are We Again?

Re: the secret wiretapping of American citizens:

"The White House's claim, essentially, is this: The president may do whatever he sees fit in order to keep the country safe. For some, those last seven words justify and legitimize the unlimited powergrab of the first eight. But many of us cannot accept the beginning of that sentence -- "the president may do whatever he sees fit" -- regardless of what follows. Those of us who reject that claim call ourselves "Democrats" or "Republicans" -- words that refer to forms of government in which the leaders are accountable to the people and to the rule of law, and therefore may not simply do whatever they see fit.

"This is a different era, a different war," President Bush said in defending his right to be free of all checks and balances. What he means, clearly, is that this new war and new era also requires a new form of government. Democracy and republicanism, he is arguing, are luxuries we can no longer afford in this new era.

The astonishing thing to me is that only "some" oppose this claim." -- Slacktivist

7 comments:

eagle said...

Sometimes you need the second amendment to defend the first.

Fred Kohn said...

" Sometimes you need the second amendment to defend the first."

Yikes! What does that mean!

Brother-in-law Bill said...

Let's parse this a little. Slacktivist is building this entire rant on their interpretation of what the president is saying, as opposed to what he actually said, which was, in effect, we are picking up conversations between folks in this country and folks in places like Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and other friends of freedom. And we decided to pay closer attention to these folks in our country, including tapping in. We briefed Congress a dozen times, although they seem to be suffering a lot of amnesia at the moment. What wasn't done was getting a court order from the secret court within the Justice Department.

So, we might all want to know a bit more about this secret court, and what it thinks is worth a warrent. We also might want to know a bit more about what the President's critics actually knew. And, we might want to ask ourselves, if were in the President's shoes, what we might do to avert another 9/11. Not too long ago, everyone was in a huff about the failure of our intelligence permitting 9/11.

Fact is, we are at war with people who hate us because we are us, no other reason. In times of war, sacrifices are occasionally demanded, one of which may be some of the niceties of privacy that we take for granted, in order to protect us from these psycopaths.

Now I'll get off my soapbox. Merry Christmas, Andy. See you on the 30th.

Bill

jeffjackson said...

well put bill. if something happened to our country again there would be an uproar that they werent listening in to conversations by suspicious people if they had the ability.

Seth said...

But why did President Bush think he didn't have to report to the secret court that oversees this kind of spying?

It literally takes a couple of hours, maybe, to ok a warrant. I think no more then a couple of times has the request been denied. And then, only to be appealed and approved.

I tend to lean towards Slacktivist's interpretationo of Bush's ideas. Only, I would add that Bush probably doesn't half understand the impact of what he's saying or doing.

danthress said...

All of our conversations in France were "monitored." I didn't have a problem with it. I'd like my money spent on intellegence gathering rather than smart bombs.

But, hopefully the NSA will make better use of this intel than the CIA did just before 9/11. Our intellegence did expose 9/11 but it came from a woman CIA rep in the midwest and she got blown off by her supervisors.

Eriol said...

Congress shouldn't be briefed, Pres. Bush is required to ask them or ask the courts for warrants. And "innocent until proven guilty", by illegal wiretapping (which it is by not asking for warrants) he is assuming that certain American citizens are in fact guilty of terrorism. I'll get off my soapbox, too.