Wow — it seems like there’s some shocking, annoying, or disappointing news every single day now. Please note that I didn’t use the term surprising.
So, it’s true: Bush authorized spying on American citizens, not just once, but he reauthorized the program more than 30 times since September 11, 2001.
He also urged the reauthorization of the noxious “Patriot” Act; claiming that “In the war on terror, we cannot afford to be without this law for a single moment.” What a bunch of bull.
I am one of those people who doesn’t believe that the suspension of civil liberties aids in the capture or disruption of terrorist activities — in the same way that the death penalty doesn’t seem to prevent murders. I do think, however, that it aids in government repression of citizens. One thing that the Bush administration has been incredibly successful in is the creation of a paranoia around government that once only found purchase in the minds of survivalists and militia members. Today, I find myself harboring those feelings myself. And anything that gives the government more leverage or opportunity to control me, my rights accorded by the constitution, or — most terrifying — my freedom, is something I want defeated completely. Gee, what a Republican sentiment, eh?
So, the conservative Republican president has presided over the creation of a huge new Federal department, authorized questionable if not illegal activities, crafted policies that sidestep legality on technical grounds in order to pry into American’s lives and torture prisoners of war.
It makes one pine for the relatively crime-free days of Richard Nixon.
(Take a look at this thread on Daily Kos that talks about the a visit by federal agents after a student checked out Mao Tse-Tung’s Little Red Book. Scary… have we, at last, no deceny?)
(Oh, and I just remembered that some of the hijackers on Sept. 11 were known to the FBI and were taking flying classes. Remember that? The memo that was ignored? Now tell me, how does the Patriot Act make that kind of blunder less likely?)