Saturday, December 17, 2005

Quote of the Day: "Unauthorized disclosure damages our national security and puts our nation at risk. Revealing this information is illegal."

Of course, President Bush was referring to the recent disclosure that he secretly had authorized the NSA to spy on Americans without first securing a warrant approved by the courts. And he sounds a bit peeved that his end-run around the Constitution was discovered and made known to the public. Yes, in effect, he is flipping the bird at all Americans.

Too bad he doesn't seem to be equally peeved about his own administration's illegal disclosure of Valerie Plame's identity as a covert CIA agent. He allegedly knows who did it, but has neglected to take action against the person(s) responsible.

Certainly, we want our leaders to do everything legally possible to detect and disrupt potential terror attacks. That is expected. But to overtly undermine the Constitution and open the door to potentially extreme abuse of Americans' civil rights and personal privacy is nothing short of unconscionable.

What the hell are these people thinking?! If we want nearly absolute protection against possible attacks in America, the model for doing that is a good one. It's called "Soviet Union".

Isn't it ironic that our soldiers are fighting and dying overseas, supposedly - as some would have us believe - so that we can retain our civil rights here at home? Meanwhile, our leadership is secretly enabling these rights to be severely compromised. Talk about dying in vain! Not only are our current soldiers dying in vain, but every single American soldier who has fought and died for this country over the past 200+ years appears to have died in vain now that our current leadership is intent on dismantling the important rights for which they fought.

Is the collection of information intended to disrupt a terror attack wrong? No. But when our government begins to spy on its own people, regardless of the reasons, then that IS wrong. It's a very slippery slope from spying to detect terror threats to spying to achieve other ends. And with no checks or balances on that immense power, we will have subjugated our rights to the government. That is not America. And any "conservative" who argues for such government power is most certainly not a conservative.


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