Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Hey, who's that standing over my shoulder?

So, it looks like Generalissimo Bushe has authorized the NSA to spy on Americans without a court order. Clearly, it only happens for terrorism related reasons. I mean, the President said so.

Now if the President wants a court order to eavesdrop on you, all he has to do is file a petition before a secret court under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). He can even do it up to three days after he's eavesdropped on you. It's perfectly legal.

But he decided to just throw the law away and do things his way. The Bush way. The illegal way.

And he's apparently been (shock, gasp, yawn) lying about it.
Secondly, there are such things as roving wiretaps. Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so. It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution.
Got that? A year ago he told us all he was using the legal and proper channels to do his duty in the fight against Eurasia (I mean terrorism). That turns out not to be true. You should read the rest of the thing to get a real sense of his genius as a leader. In that same meeting he let fly with this pearl of wisdom:
But a roving wiretap means -- it was primarily used for drug lords. A guy, a pretty intelligence drug lord would have a phone, and in old days they could just get a tap on that phone. So guess what he'd do? He'd get him another phone, particularly with the advent of the cell phones.
Wow. He'd get him another phone. He ought to be impeached just for that. Man, would it be possible to have the leader of the free world not butcher his native tongue. Would it be possible?

Now back to the original offense. What the President did is patently illegal. He authorized an intelligence agency to spy on American citizens without a court order, in direct contradiction of a post-Watergate law prohibiting such action. He set himself up above the law. King-like.

Yesterday in a press conference to control the damage on the issue, the Generalissimo made the claim that congress knew and had approved of what he was doing. The punchline--the only Democrat in a position to know or say anything wrote a letter to Cheney protesting this decision.

That makes lie #2.

The Generalissimo also stated that the purported reason for all this law-breakin' was that he felt the need, the need, the need for speed (all honor to Anthony Michael Hall's Goose). Except that as earlier noted, he can get a warrant up to 72 hours. There are even immediate appeals processes set up all the way to the Supremos.

So make that lie #3.

I was listening to Ed Schultz on WCPT yesterday afternoon, and he posed a simple question: Did George Bush use the NSA to spy on the Kerry campaign? John Aravosis of Americablog asks whether or not he spied on journalists (another question; if he did, would they care or would they just roll over again?) .

Now, the fact that we're having to ask these questions says far more about where we are as a nation than anything else. We simply don't know the answers to these questions, and we can't count on the House of Reprehensibles to do an investigation.

We can't count on the President to tell the truth, and we can't count on the media to do its job, considering the New York Times sat on the story for a year, even up through last year's election.

Think folks would have wanted to know this little tidbit before casting their vote?

So where are the checks and balances that make this such a great country?

Anyone? Anyone?

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