Saturday, August 11, 2007

Civil liberties vs. warrantless wiretapping

There's a good editorial in the NY Times about the recent snafu by Congress, which just voted to allow the president to wiretap conversations and e-mails without obtaining warrants. For those who fall prey to the fear the president uses to control and manipulate, consider the following:
"The new measure eviscerates the protections of FISA, allowing the attorney general to decide when to eavesdrop - without a warrant - on any telephone call or e-mail message, so long as one of the people communicating is "reasonably believed" to be outside the country."
Okay. The Attorney General. Alberto "Nothing would excuse false statements before the Congress" Gonzales. 'Nuff said. He clearly cannot be trusted.
"It's not that FISA makes it too hard; the court approves virtually every warrant request. It's not an issue of speed. The law allows the government to initiate surveillance and get a warrant later if necessary."
This means the government already has the authority to listen in at any time. They can do so at a moment's notice and obtain a warrant from the court later if necessary. There was no reason to hand this to Bush. Absolutely none. Wait. Let me take that back. There is. Because the neo-cons are so ultra effective should any terrorist activity occur on this soil, they would claim it was a direct consequence of not having the power they deemed necessary to protect us. And they would blame the Democrats. And stoopid* people who watch Fox News and think it is actually "fair and balanced" would believe every word that fell from their mouths. We do not need to be protected at all costs. Part of living in a free society is accepting the risk that comes from being free.


I need a beer.

*Intentionally misspelled

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