Friday, December 16, 2005

He's lied, he's tortured...now he's spied on you...


No really...Bush is making this a better place. Is your laundry clean?

This is the breaking story that will be rocking the airwaves today and probably through the weekend... Bush authorized the NSA to spy on people in the U.S. and told them not to worry about those pesky warrants. This is the same guy who's been saying you can trust him not to abuse the ill-named Patriot Act. Why abuse that set of laws when you can just ignore them all?

Anyway, the New York Times story is here.

I'm just so excited to hear the spin. I'm sure it will be wildly creative.

BBC News
CBS News

20 comments:

Shelly said...

Well if they eavesdrop on my phone conversations, they are going to be very dissappointed! I really never have an interested conversation! and who gets paid to listen? i want that job. it might be fun!! I'm not outraged...i find it humorous!

thephoenixnyc said...

And yet, after outrage #412 in the last 5 years, the nation shrugs.

So depressing.

Laura said...

The whole argument of "if you have nothing to hide then why worry" really bothers me... because if they can ignore warrants and define "terrorist" in such loose terms as to include a group that protests against the war, then they can certainly ignore other definitions of crimes. How do you know if you have nothing to hide when you never know what the government might try to come after you for?

Let's just wipe our collective ass with the Constitution and get it over with.

ggirl said...

Does this mean I'll have to start calling George "Big Brother"? Ick

Slade said...

that picture of him is rather good...hehe

The Zombieslayer said...

Bush authorized the NSA to spy on people in the U.S. and told them not to worry about those pesky warrants.
I was kind of vague in my reply to your post in my America-hater rant, but this is why I lost my last bit of respect for Bush.

I really try to give people chances. Having spies spying on the US w/o warrants is quasi-dictatorial, dontcha think?

Shawn said...

I just don't get it...there's a set of laws in place that even allow this to happen, with only the faintest of judicial oversight. All the government needs to do is call a special judge and have it okayed. They can even start tapping without talking to the judge, they need only inform the court within three days of starting.

Give me a break...this is a group of people who don't even respect our laws and feel they aren't bound by any of them.

Cheers to all who question.

Anonymouse said...

Hey--I just noticed that you have POST SECRET on your link list. Were you the one who commented on my blog about it being a rip off of Post Secret??

I didn't know about Post Secret before your comment, so I thank you for directing me to that site. It's really cool!

My site is different in that I am asking people to write about a specific thing in their lives that they didn't attempt because they didn't deem themselves worthy of having what they wanted. I was just going through some mental upheaval about a person I was interested in, and was wondering if anyone else fought their demons before getting up the nerve to tell someone that they liked them.

Oh well, if it wasn't you who commented on my blog, then you'll have no idea what I'm talking about! If you were the person, then thanks for introducing me to Post Secret.

Anonymouse said...

I like this in the NY Times article: "The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny.

It really should have read that the White House asked the NY Times not to publish the article because it would uncover more unconstitutional acts by our beloved Bush.

Shawn said...

Nope...not me. But I do dig Post Secret. There have been some really heartbreaking ones on there. I encourage everyone to check it out. It's a great insight into the reality of many people's lives.

Joe said...

hehehe when i read anonymouse's comments, i hear a high pitched voice in my head . . . hehehehe

Miranda said...

What? The government actually spies on people inside the country?

Who'd have thought? It's not like we have anything like an FBI.

You mean the president actually *gasp* sanctioned legally wire-tapping conversations of suspected terrorists? Good gracious. What IS this country coming to?

We've never done anything like this before! Well, except with drug dealers, and well, obviously they're worse than terrorists. Right?

Shawn said...

M, you're too smart to launch off like that and your assertions disappoint me.

There's a small obligation to the legal process that - once again - hasn't been followed.

The reason the NSA has been limited in the scope of what they can do is because of abuses in the past. Then it was the Viet Nam war and the 'terrorists' were anti-war protestors. Most were peaceful objectors to government policy.

There's a very simple process in place now that allows the government to tap communications of suspected spies and terrorists. All the information remains classified. And the speed argument is a crock as well, since the government can do the tapping and later go to the special judge and get a retroactive warrant. They even have three days to do it.

If the argument is that if people haven't done anything wrong they have nothing to worry about, then the President and the NSA shouldn't be too worried about any Congressional or judicial investigations...right?

By the way, Merry Christmas...hope all is well with you.

Miranda said...

Thank you, Merry Christmas!

Don't bother with flattery. If I "launch off", then I'm not smart enough not to. I am sorry, of course, to be a disappointment to anyone, but I too am disappointed.

I'm disappointed that, rather than coming up with your own thoughts or creative attacks, you
swallow the lines of every day democrats and spit them out almost unaltered. (Bush is a monkey. Bush is a liar.) I'm disappointed that you use the same scare tactics and that you leap to the same conclusions without taking the time to find out if anything wrong has really been done. (Bush is a torturer. Bush is spying on you.)

You began your post with this "scary" title: "He's lied, he's tortured...now he's spied on you..." But your problem isn't really that he's spied. In fact, you seem to be fine with spying if a certain process is followed. The "Bush Spied On You!" headline is merely something you've used to try to outrage people.

Your complaint isn't that he spied. It isn't even that he broke a law. It is merely that he didn't
follow the sort of procedure that you see as traditional. But that in itself is hardly a scary scandal. In fact, even Jimmy Carter issued Executive Orders to allow new surveillance procedures. The situation here isn't really one that's as egregious or as unprecedented as you and your comrades would like to make it and I dislike the way so many Democrats act as if every single move Bush
makes is shocking and terrible.

It's fair to say that Bush's actions are questionable. It's fair to say you're interested in seeing what the outcome of a trial would be. It's even fair to say that you hope Bush is convicted of a crime. But your scare tactics aren't fair and neither is your conclusion that Bush has done something
horrid.

I personally don't think Bush has much to fear from any investigation. I look forward to seeing the conclusions of any that are done and the precedents that are set. I seem to remember the Democrats being all gung-ho about the Enron investigation before their names kept coming up. And remember the memo?

Bring on the nvestigations. It will be interesting to see what's revealed.

Shawn said...

You began your post with this "scary" title: "He's lied, he's tortured...now he's spied on you..."

I would hope it's scary. All the above frighten me. Which of the above statements isn't true?

The only way to consider them not true is to consider them semantically. Did Bush personally torture someone in the Lincoln bedroom? No. But the American people were lied to by the President and his administration. This administration did and does condone the use of torture. The President did and has stated he will continue to call on the NSA to spy on people in and out of the United States.

But your problem isn't really that he's spied. In fact, you seem to be fine with spying if a certain process is followed.

Not at all. I have been and will continue to be against the spying on citizens of this country. I would also go further and say that our tactics in other countries border on criminal in some cases and are clearly criminal in others. That is neither a Democratic nor Republican thing. If we play dirty, we have to expect others to do the same. I personally don't believe in lowering standards to the lowest common denominator. We're the current super power in the world and we should either lead with integrity or step back from the stage.

The situation here isn't really one that's as egregious or as unprecedented as you and your comrades would like to make it and I dislike the way so many Democrats act as if every single move Bush
makes is shocking and terrible.


Wow...how very Savage Nation of you. If not supporting Bush is a sign of being a Bolshevik, does that make supporting him a sign of being a National Socialist? I don't think every move Bush makes is shocking at all. Many of the things he does are downright unshocking. He probably loves his dog and kids, but continuing to condone torture and the holding of people without charges for years under the guise of 'fighting terror' hardly makes him a swell fellow.

True, maybe since we're talking about dirty brown Muslems here and we know they're not as important as we are, it doesn't matter. I tend to believe it does matter.

I've heard you argue vehemently that Clinton was a terrible example of what a president should be. Maybe I missed something and you could point out the sterling qualities that set Bush, Jr. apart from his predesessor. Personally, I think Clinton was a bit oily and smarmy, but I would be curious to hear why you find him so appalling and Bush, Jr. such a paragon of values.

I don't think Bush is alone in leading this country down an immoral path. I hold Democrats and Republicans in Congress responsible as well. And the sorry excuses for journalists who don't ask tough questions and cower in front of elected officials have played an enormous role as well. The thing is, it's not a situation that will change without an outcry from the little voices out here in the public.

It's a sad day when it's a bigger crime to lie about getting your dick sucked than it is to start a war. Personal opinion of course.

Outrage people with this post? I wish that I had the power to do that. I wish that this post caused everyone that read it to call their congressmen and women to tell them how they feel about the issue - pro or con. Making a wild guess...I'm going to guess that the number of people who have done that is zero.

Here's the some links to make it easy...
House
Senate

Miranda said...

Two of them certainly aren't. He certainly hasn't spied on me. You try to make it seem like Bush is spying on people like me personally, and instead he has authorized certain agencies to keep watch on those with links to international terrorism.

It's not that you're lying, Shawn, it's that you're exaggerating and that you're only presenting one side of the story.

Which Democrats have you complained about lately?
Not a few supported the patriot act. Where is your outrage? Aren't you going
to call them out as spies?

As for Clinton -
it's not as if his only crime was his affair. Oh, I know, it's fun to pretend that's the only objection Republicans ever had to his presidency, but his role in the genocide in Rwanda is something even a liberal ought to condemn.

I suspect you never posted
anything about Clinton being a killer. But, hey,
you have your biases and I have mine.

Shawn said...

I started a long-winded reply, but I'm too tired. I don't feel like arguing all over the board either, so I'll just summarize what I think you're saying.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

We sent troops to Iraq because we had intelligence that Saddam Hussein was rebuilding a WMD program and was an emminent threat to our security. This intelligence was deemed to be trustworthy at the time, but was later found to be not exactly correct. The President took action based on this intelligence and has been entirely truthful about his actions leading up to the war and also after.

The United States does not condone the use of torture and certainly does not use torture. We are against torture and do our best to discourage others from using torture.

Extraordinary renditions are fully compliant with the laws of our country and other countries and there are legitimate reasons to carry them out.

Holding people for three years or so at a military facility in Cuba is within the laws of our country. Because they are 'enemy combatants,' they don't need to be allowed the protections of either our laws or international laws covering the detention of enemy soldiers. And they're being treated fairly and humanely anyway.

The Abu Ghraib attrocities were the work of a few overzealous military personnel. No one higher up the chain knew it was happening and it was an isolated occurence.

And, lastly, the President authorized the NSA to monitor communications of people known to have links to terrorist organizations. This is not an infringement of civil liberties, and even if it is, it is justified.

Does that sum up your views?

Seems I ended up with a long-winded reply anyway.

Jürgen Nation said...

*opens mouth to speak in outrage.*

*closes it and decides it's not worth it.*

It's interesting to see who defends him on this issue. Hi, there's something called a Constitution and I really don't like that he thinks he can shit all over it. I understand that "this is a time of war," and that in "times of war" you need to expect to have certain liberties adjusted to deal with such war. HOWEVER, the "war on terror" is the bullshittiest excuse for a fucking war that I've ever heard. We shouldn't be there. That being said, I'm not going to change anyone's mind. Think what you will on that issue, but if you're ignorant enough to think that "he did nothing wrong," and that we're "crying about nothing," I wish I could kick your ass. Do you think it will stop? Do you really think they're only targeting a slim amount of people and that they're so good at what they do that they don't intrude upon normal folks' conversations? America has ALL IT NEEDS to ensure safety, and for anyone to dispute that is ridiculous. I, for one, don't want a president to trample all over the Constitution and DO WHATEVER HE AND HIS MINIONS WANT TO DO just because he thinks he won't be challenged. The sad thing is that, because of his followers, he's right. He has those folks convinced that he's their leader who is only out for everyone's best interests. Riiiight. Keep thinking that. Ignore the news, don't think about issues too deeply, keep "supportin' your man," keep using the word "liberal" or "Democrat" as a bad word. In other words, be a Bushtard. If anyone thinks he isn't steering you to think that way, you're so wrong it's scary.

I guess I did open my mouth.

Miranda said...

Shawn:
Winston Churchill condoned killing Germans. I wouldn't claim that he never did, but I wouldn't call him a murderer either. Would
someone who said he was responsible for German deaths be a liar? No. But
if the only thing they ever said about Churchill was that he was a murderer, they'd be doing a great man a disservice.

George Bush is no Churchill,
but he's no brutual torturer either.

I'd appreciate it if you'd
argue with the points I have made, rather with the ones you make up for me,
but I'm tired of this "debate" as well and would much rather call a truce. At least for the holidays ;)



Jürgen Nation:
Your civility and eloquence are quite remarkable. I can only hope that those who share your feelings will model their speeches after yours.

Jürgen Nation said...

Happy holidays, Miranda.