Saturday, August 04, 2007

Give Me Back My Star Chamber

Thank God for the new security bill passed by the Democrat-controlled Senate. This legislation, approved by a razor-thin margin of 60-28, "would expand the government's authority to intercept without a court order the phone calls and e-mails of people in the United States who are communicating with people overseas."

"Every day we don't have [this wiretap authority], we don't know what's going on outside the country," a senior White House official said.
Excuses, excuses.

I'm writing an article on the Yankees. Every day I don't get to read all the major papers for free, I don't know what's going on with the Yankees. Of course I should have the New York papers, but is it too much to ask that I pay to read a bunch of irrelevant material?

On the other hand, the attitude also resembles that of our lazy-ass airport security, which can't be bothered to identify suspicious travel patterns, and so just makes everyone's lives miserable in a shotgun approach to security: if you take away everyone's everything, you're bound to take away the right guy's everything, too. This exemplifies the precision approach to fighting terrorism adopted by the Bush Administration.

Our senior friend at the White House continues:
"All you need is one communication from, say, Pakistan to Afghanistan that's routed through Seattle that tells you 'I'm about to do a truck bomb in New York City' or 'about to do a truck bomb in Iraq,' and it's too late."
Ahhhh, we need warrantless wiretap authority for the war in Iraq. I didn't even think of that one! I was thinking we could probably bust all those Islamist phone phreakers on pr0n charges, cause if they're rerouting calls all over God's green earth, you know they're anonymizing they're pr0n downloads, too. And Islamofascists love the child pr0n.

Anyway, all I'm saying is, it's a really good thing the Scientologists got shut down. Otherwise, our lawyers would need warrantless wiretap authority so they could spend their precious time going after poor Julf.
Adding to the urgency for the administration is a secret ruling by a FISA judge earlier this year that declared surveillance of purely foreign communications that pass through a U.S. communications node illegal without a court-approved warrant -- a requirement that intelligence officials have described as unacceptably burdensome.
Right. So judges free of political pressure refuse to play along with Bush's bullshit "if you hate warrantless wiretapping, you hate America" approach to surveillance, so he gets into a political fight with Dems on the hill. This is a sick irony, that in the modern land of democratic freedoms it takes someone operating in secret to stand up for the Constitutional rights of Americans, rights the Declaration of Independence considers to be granted to us by our Creator (a creator Bush claims to believe in).

I don't believe in the creator, but I believe in the rights, and it runs right straight against my understanding of accountability that elected officials would be the ones to hand over those rights. It's the reverse of the Star Chamber. When the NSA comes to get me, I might actually request a secret trial.

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