Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Main Point in the Wiretap Brouhaha

David Ignatius highlighted the real issue about Bush’s wiretap shenanigans in his WaPo article “Revolt of the Professionals” this morning. Ignatius said: “The national security structure that the Bush administration created after Sept. 11, 2001, began to crumble this month because of a bipartisan revolt on Capitol Hill…President Bush has bristled at these challenges to his authority over what has amounted to an undeclared national state of emergency. But the intelligence professionals who have daily responsibility for waging the war against terrorism don't seem particularly surprised or unhappy to see the emergency structure in trouble. They want clear rules and public support that will allow them to do their jobs effectively over the long haul, without getting second-guessed or jerked around by politicians. Basically, they don't want to be left holding the bag -- which this nation has too often done with its professional military and intelligence officers.” Further on in the article Ignatius said, “Agency employees don't want their careers ruined by future congressional or legal investigations of actions they thought were authorized.” And that’s been the besetting sin of the Bush administration since 2000. The White House has made a habit of end-runs around rules. They get their clever flacks to write sophistries on why rules don’t apply to George W. Bush, why the Bush administration doesn’t have to get Congress to declare war before going to war, why the BushMen don’t have to abide by Geneva Convention rules, why torture is legal, why vote tampering isn’t vote tampering, why fixing elections isn’t fixing elections and why secretly ordering wiretaps of Americans is actually required by the Constitution. And seeing George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice or even Colin Powell on TV defending the lies, deceit and wrongdoing of the Bush White House is tiresome and maddening. But the real offense is that a handful of politicians believed they could form a totalitarian government and intimidate their minions and the press into silence. Yes, of course, I get great pleasure seeing the White House daily sink deeper into the morass it has created. But that very comeuppance that is so delicious to watch has been the worst possible scenario for the United States. At this point, it wouldn’t even be helpful for the president to say, "I was wrong." The only thing that will begin to heal the wounds the Bush administration has inflicted on this country is for Congress to defeat the GOP’s plans for empowering the rich and impoverishing the nation. If our laws need to be changed for the USA to be adequately safeguarded against terrorism, then that orderly process should be started. But all efforts of the Bush administration to covertly turn the USA into a dictatorship must be thwarted by Congress and by the voting public. We have three more years of Bush rule. Impeaching Bush, Cheney, Hastert, Stevens and Rice would not solve the problem. However, Congress can defang these snakes and keep them from engaging in more criminal acts.

1 comment:

Barry Schwartz said...

No, I don't think it's just unwarranted wiretaps on Americans. I think it is an unwarranted wiretap on _all_ Americans. I think it is the NSA spidering the internet, sniffing e-mails, listening in on telephones, etc., with machines that employ pattern-matching algorithms.

Somewhere in that mix may be spying on John Kerry, the DNC, etc., the usual Nixonian stuff. But I think the main crime is violation of the 4th amendment rights of hundreds of millions of people within the United States. That would be a staggering crime.