Monday, December 26, 2005

Government Spying: Don't tread on us

SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER EDITORIAL BOARD

The revelations of government spying pose serious questions not just for the Bush administration but also for Congress, the courts and the American public. (Mostly for the American Public, since congress has been asleep at the wheel for 5 years!)

The telecommunications monitoring is ripping huge new holes in the administration's credibility. Americans don't know much yet but there is cause for deep concern about President Bush's adherence to the law and the Constitution. (Deep concern, my ass! This is a constitutional crisis of hellish proportions. If a Resolution of Inquiry isn't number 1 on the agenda in 2006, we ought to shut the capital down until congress gets its priorities straight!)

The Republican chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Peter Hoekstra, said Wednesday the secret surveillance might have inadvertently picked up innocent communications wholly within the United States. The White House has portrayed the monitoring as only involving communications that are at least partly foreign. (If the White House said that the sky is blue, I would not believe it until I went outside and looked up. Does any one believe anything they say? Anyone?)

The administration insists the president had legal authority to order monitoring. But one judge on the federal Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has resigned in protest. And the chief judge of the court, which is noted for granting government requests, has scheduled a briefing to address her fellow judges' concerns about the legality of administration actions. (The administration always "insists," when they are lying. They insisted that Saddam had WMD, they insisted that Osama knocked down our buildings, though we have never seen any evidence to back up that assertion, they insisted that the air around lower Manhattan was fit to breathe...they always insisting about something. The point is, they have insisted on lying to us, over and over again, for 5 years. Who the hell cares what they insist on now?)

Vice President Dick Cheney says critics could face political consequences. The attack dog stance must not chill congressional, court or public inquiry into possibly illegal activity.

Dick Cheney is going to be the one who faces political consequences, and he will be damned fortunate if that is all he faces; freakin' war criminal that he is!

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