Monday, December 04, 2006

another lazy journalist ignores the main issue of the NSA spying scandal or as Atrios would say, "Ow the stupid, it burns"

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Here's another misleading and confusing article about this administration's secret eavesdropping program, in today's Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

Democrats say they're forging a coalition to limit domestic eavesdropping on terrorists, by James Rowley of Bloomberg News. Just look at how misleading the title is, "Democrats say they're forging a coalition," ok I'll buy that, but what about this, "to limit domestic eavesdropping on terrorists." How often does this crap have to be debunked? No Democrat wants to limit eavesdropping on terrorists, period.

How often do we have to keep pointing out to these lazy journalists that the President has all the tools he needs to eavesdrop on terrorists.....LEGALLY. It's called FISA and it allows for eavesdropping on terrorists. All you have to do is get judicial approval, and if it's a emergency the approval can be retroactive. Judicial approval is required, you see, because we've discovered in the past, when powerful people have control of big fancy spy agencies like the NSA, CIA, FBI, etc. they are very tempted to abuse that power (remember Nixon? how about Edgar J. Hoover?).

Mr. Bush himself said in April 2004, "Secondly, there are such things as roving wiretaps. Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so. It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution."

Every president since FISA was passed has had no problem following this law. FISA has been revised, five times since 9/11 to accomodate the executive branch.

What Bush is doing is breaking the law, plain and simple. That should be what journalists are writing about, not confusing the public with ridiculous arguments about who wants to eavesdrop on terrorists and who doesn't. How stupid or illogical does anyone have be to not know that every American, republican or democrat wants terrorism stopped.

This is so bad, look at the first paragraph:

Democrats, about to take control of Congress, say they will forge a bipartisan compromise to put limits on President George W. Bush's program of domestic
eavesdropping of suspected terrorists.

Democrats don't need a bipartisan compromise to tell the President to stop breaking the law. And I don't believe anyone wants to put limits on, "domestic eavesdropping of suspected terrorists." Congress is obligated under our Constitution to force the President to obey the law, and the law says, "get a warrant." That's the issue.

More nonsense:

Democrats say they already have a starting point for a compromise, noting that bipartisan proposals this year require court warrants for eavesdropping. At the same time, party leaders will be treading carefully in an effort to assure Americans that they can protect privacy without sacrificing vigilance, and to discredit Republican charges they are weak on national security.

``How will the Democrats proceed? I think gingerly,'' said Steven Aftergood, who
directs a government secrecy project for the Federation of American Scientists
in Washington. ``They can no longer function as a protest group.''

Once again, there is nothing bipartisan about requiring warrants to eavesdrop, warrants have been required by law since FISA was passed in 1978. Party leaders do not need to tread gingerly, they need to honor their commitment to their constituents, and explain why. The American public expects Congress to do their jobs, and their job is to stop the President from breaking the law. If he refuses then the only recourse is impeachment.

Towards the end of this misleading blather, Rowley finally admits that this program has been ruled unconstitutional. So why isn't that in the title of his article?

I'm not going to quote anymore of the article, it's just more of the same lunacy.

Will the Democrats stop Bush from continuing to break the law, or will they allow Bush's continued lawlessness, like the rubberstamp republican congress did?

The fact that journalists continue to misrepresent this issue is maddening. Democrats should not allow this type of sloppy reporting to cloud their judgement. No one (including the President) can pick and choose which laws they wish to obey. The Democrats cannot allow this to continue, and they need to shout it in the halls of Congress, and get on the talk shows and explain that this is simply a law and order issue, that we are a nation of laws.

Here's some advice for the Dems, explain the situation to the public, like this, Bush is breaking the law, which makes him a criminal, and this Congress refuses to "coddle criminals."

Weird, I have a hard copy of the Post Gazette article, but it's not on their website

I found it at Bloomberg News but someone has changed the title of the article to, "Democrats Seek Republican Backing to Limit Bush's Surveillance."

Maybe he's already taking some flack, one can only hope so.


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