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Monday, December 19, 2005

Fast on our feet

From the NY Times story on aWol's press conference today:
Normally, no wiretapping is permitted in the United States without a court warrant. But Bush said he approved the action without such orders "because it enables us to move faster and quicker. We've got to be fast on our feet."

"America is under attack."

The idea that the Foreign Intelligence Security Act, an Orwellian nightmare in itself, was in any way an obstacle to investigating terrorism is total BS. FISA approval of wiretaps is almost always granted, and quickly (sometimes within minutes, I read somewhere over the weekend). Compared to the hours or days it would generally take to get bugs planted, or even for the suspect to actually make a suspicious phone call, this is insignificant. The ONLY reason Bush would avoid following the FISA guidelines is because he is bugging people he definitely should not be (even stipulating that the FISA guidelines sufficiently protect our liberties, which they don't).

Of course, being Bush, one dose of pure BS is never enough:
"It was a shameful act for someone to disclose this important program in a time of war. The fact that we're discussing this program is helping the enemy," he said.
Anyone plotting terror attacks against the US, at least with enough brains to carry it out, already knew that using personal phones and cell phones and carrying on conversations at home had to be risky (unless, of course, it's a false-flag operation), even before FISA and the Patriot Act. Knowing that Bush bypassed FISA didn't change that risk one iota. The fact that we're discussing this program is helping America. It's democracy. Elected officials are supposed to be accountable. W disagrees. W needs to go. To jail.

He also complained about the vote blocking the Patriot Act extension:
"I want senators from New York or Los Angeles or Las Vegas to explain why these cities are safer" without the extension, he said.
I doubt if Harry Reid, Diane Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Hillary Clinton or Charles Schumer will make the following argument, but I'll put it out there for them if they want it! Here it is: Home invasions are inherently dangerous. Homeowners or renters, and their family members as well, may return home at any time. If the FBI or other government agency is busy doing a sneak-and-peak at that time, the possibility of someone getting shot is very real. Also, local cops might see the breakin and try to stop it. Given how secretive the government obviously wants to be about all this, it seems likely that the burglars (which is what they are) will be armed, and probably disguise themselves as "real" burglars. It wouldn't surprise me at all to find out that there have already been several shootings related to these "sneak and peak" searches.

That, and the fact that they're completely unconstitutional. The constitution has been a critical part of security in this country since it was founded. People across the country are less safe the more the constitution gets eroded and ignored.

[Update] See additional comments on this post above.