This spy scandal is a very important development. One of the problems with the blogosphere and the media landscape in general is that it feels like the outrage-meter is always turned up to maximum hot setting. You’re hearing a lot of chatter on the blogs, and I would suggest that this time, you pay special attention to it. This story cuts across all the themes of modern Republicanism – national security, 9/11, abuses of power, political opportunism, media manipulation, violation of civil rights, attacks on privacy, and the evisceration of checks and balances in the American system. Rarely is there such a narrative that ties so many threads together.
See AmericaBlog’s call for action.
Former Congressman Bob Barr (R-GA) even got in on the qaction during a heated debate with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) on CNN Friday:
Barr is far from a usual suspect in raging against the president, as Shakespeare’s Sister illustrates:
Barr is no left-winger, he?s a fire-breathing conservative who tried the case against Clinton, strongly supports the Second Amendment, drafted the Defense of Marriage Act, staunchly apposes abortion, and has been a speaker before the Council of Conservative Citizens, which has been noted as becoming increasingly ?radical and racist? by the Southern Poverty Law Center, who classifies the CCC as a hate group.
I previously posted in disgust and dismay that the Times published this “groundbreaking” story a year after they had it, and even apologized within the text of the front page indictment. David Sirota assails the media in general and NYT in particular for sheer deference to the “powers” of government and profit in a must-read post:
..[T]he Times tells us Bush “secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans.” The paper also refers to “the powers granted the N.S.A. by President Bush.” “Authorized” and “granted.” The word “authorize” is defined as “to grant power or authority to,” and the word “grant” is the act of giving something one has. The media’s use of these terms, then, is the media trying to make the public assume as fact that Bush actually had the power or authority to grant in the first place.
Its more than just the NSA and Bush. Matt Rothschild of the Progressive points to MSNBC recent detailing of Rumsfeld’s DoD sending out teams to track even the most “innocuous and lawful” protests.
The Pengaton?s partial file on the spying is available here (.pdf).
As the president proclaimed at a recent Oval Office meeting (h/t Capitol Hill Blue):
I don?t give a goddamn,? Bush retorted. ?I?m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.?
?Mr. President,? one aide in the meeting said. ?There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.?
?Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,? Bush screamed back. ?It?s just a goddamned piece of paper!?
For more on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, click here.