Monday, January 02, 2006

"No man is above the law" -- Rep. Henry Hyde (1998)

Interesting. Where you see "tactical stupidity", I see mountains of circumstantial evidence. The President is up to no good, and I can prove it. At the end of the day, we really don't have to get into a technical debate on the 4th Amendment to know that what Bush is doing is wrong. Why? Because every single one of his explanations fails miserably.

The "NSA Program" has not made us any safer. "But we haven't been attacked since 9/11." Great, and this rock keeps tigers away. Besides, we have been attacked. If you don't consider what happened in London an attack on us, and on some level a failure of American leadership, you don't understand the nature of the war we're fighting. We're fighting a new kind of war.

Exposing this program has not, in any way shape or form, made the US less safe. Everyone worth their salt in a terrorist organization assumes they are being monitored. And anybody who's so stupid he needs a front page story on the NY Times to put two and two together wouldn't be worth monitoring in the first place. And on the off chance someone that stupid was worth monitoring, there was a 100% chance that the necessary warrants would have been approved.

It's also patently ridiculous to equate the Plame leak with this one. And forget about the disclosure of her identity for a minute. Dismantling a CIA front operation is serious business. The government can't exactly setup energy consultancies with offices in strategic countries around the world on a moment's notice. Especially ones which specialize in intercepting WMD on the black market. How many of those do you think we had before Novak sold what was left of his soul? Brewster Jennings was lost to an act of Benedict Rosenberg-magnitude treason.

Now, before we muddy the debate any further acknowledging the GOP's welcome embrace of moral relativism, I would like to clarify, as fact, that this NSA business very obviously violates the "original intent" of the 4th Amendment. I mean, just read it...

'The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.'

We both know I don't have your legal training, but I simply fail to see how the fact that they're not using the fruits of their "total information" campaign as evidence in criminal proceedings is the issue at hand. The current Republican interpretation of the 4th Amendment--that in the good old days a government acting in good faith could practice unfettered law enforcement until Earl Warren rode roughshod over the country on the back of a forked tongued dragon while smoking pot and drinking babies' blood--is a delusion with no roots whatsoever in the Constitution.


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