There’s a big fuss over a USA today article about the massive extent of the US government spying on it’s own citizens. The President’s non-response in his remarks continues to assume that he is sorta like protecting us from ourselves. He created a war and now argues that he must spy on us to protect us from some of the enemies he has created. Classic dictator-talk. Classic!
Some Senators, thank God, are outraged and getting active. Go guys go!
[The NYT mentions] … the USA Today article and its description of the program’s vast size, including an assertion by one unnamed source that its goal was the creation of a database of every phone call ever made within the United States’ borders.
“Are you telling me that tens of millions of Americans are involved with Al Qaeda?” Senator Patrick J. Leahy [D] of Vermont, the committee’s ranking minority member, asked angrily.
And don’t say, dear reader, “Well, if you have nothing to hide, you should not be worried.” I have nothing to hide. I pretty much let it all hang out. But I am very worried about my nation, its future, and its present role in the world.
Perhaps the basic principle of America is that those with power must be constantly, carefully and publicly watched and held completely accountable – whether that power be political, military, economic, religious, communications, or whatever. This Administration and Congress (and their allies in business and the media) want it just the opposite. They want complete immunity from scrutiny while they watch the little people. Thus that old “if you have nothing to hide” line is Classic Totalitarian Talk. Classic! That is the opposite of why America came to be.
Senator Arlen Specter [R], the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he would call executives of AT&T, BellSouth and Verizon “to see if we can learn some of the underlying facts.”
He said he would question them about “what we can’t find out from the Department of Justice or other administration officials.”
The article named those three companies as cooperating with the security agency’s request; it said that Qwest had refused to provide the information [to the Government].
The Executive Branch refuses to cooperate with the Legislative Branch. And this is the kind of “freedom” and the kind of rule of law we’re spreading around the world?! These people think “freedom” means you can do anything you want, laws or not, Constitution or not – but ONLY if you are in their little circle of absolute power. Outside that circle, you don’t even need secure phone lines.
Like Mr. Specter, Mr. Leahy made a link between the new charge and the administration’s refusal to answer many of the committee’s questions about the security agency’s warrantless wiretaps of calls between the United States and overseas in which one person is suspected of terrorist ties.
Those warrantless wiretaps were, remember, illegal. And we continue to learn there is more going on that is also illegal. That means impeachable. And far, far more deadly to American democracy than anything Clinton was ever alleged to have done. We are now learning what impeachable offenses really look like.
“It’s our government, our government!” he [Leahy] said, turning red in the face and waving a copy of USA Today. “It’s not one party’s government, it’s America’s government!”
Dear Christian Rightists,
Here’s a chance to show you really care about America and about freedom. Please stop ignoring the abuses and corruption of this Administration and its domestic allies, and use your vast power to arouse public opinion to defend America’s freedoms and promote integrity in positions of power!
Update: Thanks to EKO at dkos.
I certainly hope any Verizon, BellSouth, or AT&T customers out there are looking into alternatives now. Sellouts like them don’t need my business. If you live in their service area, Qwest Communications was the only one of the big four phone companies who refused to give up the data.
I watched on TV as one Republican Senator defended the information collecting by saying that we were at war, and it was necessary. Come on, I thought, it’s a war because the Whitehouse gangs says it is. It didn’t have to be a war. Even the “war of terror” is not a true war. It’s been said that the only way to grab absolute power in the US is to do it during wartime. So they have created their golden opportunity. Let’s act, and pray, so that it does not happen.