If you don’t let me stay up all night and watch TV I’ll hold my breath until I die. If you don’t let me eat all the cake I want I’ll never clean my room again. If you don’t let me torture when, where and how I see fit you’re all going to die. All equally absurd and childish statements, but that is where we are as a nation. Bush to Veto Bill Banning Waterboarding
The White House says President Bush will veto legislation on Saturday that would have barred the CIA from using waterboarding — a technique that simulates drowning — and other harsh interrogation methods on terror suspects.
Bush has said the bill would harm the government’s ability to prevent future attacks. Supporters of the legislation argue that it preserves the United States’ right to collect critical intelligence while boosting the country’s moral standing abroad.
The Whitehouse reply is like the kid on the verge of a temper tantrum because there is the possibility that someone might put boundaries on their behavior – “”The bill would take away one of the most valuable tools on the war on terror, the CIA program to detain and question key terrorist leaders and operatives,”. It would do no such thing, but when has respect for that long lost quality of character called honesty ever stopped the Bush Whitehouse from babbling lies like there was a shortage and they were doing their best to make up for the lack of lies in our political discourse. What does this bill do, it simply limits the CIA’s interrogation techniques to those spelled out in the Army Field manual; the procedures of which no one has suggested be changed. In other words limits that are good enough for our military, but lack for Bush’s vision of what the CIA should be. A vision that has an eerie similarity to the old Soviet KGB.
We’re not big on history in America, not really. Unka Karl Rove was right about two observations he made ( though he was not the first), the general public has a memory that is about two weeks long and it didn’t happen if it wasn’t on TV. Since the old communist Soviet Union broke up officially in 1991 some may not remember that it was the ultimate surveillance state. Since America’s Conservatives tend to think that the surveillance state is the best answer to keeping America safe one assumes that they look back on the old USSR with some nostalgia. As is usually the case with Conservatives and the remembrance of things past the old USSR was hardly a great place to live, it was not safe as much as it was oppressive. Yet while the USSR was a great example of how not to govern its people the Right is trying its damndest, with little resistance from Democrats to bring Soviet style oppressive surveillance to America, The Banality of the Surveillance State
As Congress debates new rules for government eavesdropping, a top intelligence official says it is time that people in the United States changed their definition of privacy.
Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguard people’s private communications and financial information. . . .
“Anonymity has been important since the Federalist Papers were written under pseudonyms,” [EFF Senior Staff Lawyer Kurt] Opsahl said. “The government has tremendous power: the police power, the ability to arrest, to detain, to take away rights. Tying together that someone has spoken out on an issue with their identity is a far more dangerous thing if it is the government that is trying to tie it together.”
“There is something fundamentally different from the government having information about you than private parties,” he said. “We shouldn’t have to give people the choice between taking advantage of modern communication tools and sacrificing their privacy. It’s just another ‘trust us, we’re the government,” he said.
The Bush administration announces that we better change our definition of “privacy” — no more anonymity from our own government. That seems like a significant announcement, and it thus received no attention. I wonder if a single television news or cable show mentioned it.
Equally significant: the administration says that we have no chance of keeping information about what we do from the Government, and instead, our only hope is that oversight and safeguards prevent abuse. That’s the same administration which then demands that Congress provide it more and more spying powers without oversight or safeguards, and the Congress continuously complies. By their own premises, there are no safeguards against abuse of the virtually limitless reach of the Surveillance State.
What can I say Glenn, as Unka Karl said it wasn’t on the TeeVee so it don’t count. Even if it was Wolfe Blitzer would probably give twenty minutes to a Whitehouse sycophant to explain that we’d all better start shopping for coffins if we don’t just “trust” the government to do whatever it wants to protect us from a guy that lives in caves and moves like a ghost.
“stunning ethical breach that cries out for an immediate investigation.” ~ Congressman John Conyers on Karl Rove-John Ashcroft conversations about covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson