There’s a couple of things I don’t understand about the White House wire tap scandal/policy. There’s been a strong defense offered by the administration regarding how they are trying to protect us from terrorists. That’s not a surprising spin from the group that has based most of its reign on 9/11. It’s also a reasonable claim, to a point. At the speed of the world today, burdensome bureaucratic processes are only suitable for running large corporations (but that’s a different story). But the establishment of the FISA court provides for the approval of wire taps in under 45 minutes if necessary. There are even provisions to retroactively file with the court after the fact. Yet they want us to believe this process is too cumbersome. Could we really be short of people in the government capable of filing forms?? There hasn’t really been any useful attempt to explain why this process is such a problem.
And another thing, they are claiming repeatedly that if this eavesdropping capability existed pre-9/11, that the attack might have been prevented. These are the people that ignored a White House briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined to Attack within the U.S.” because it wasn’t specific. Do we think they’re really able to piece together plans from thousands of veiled conversations??
And one last point, ultimately they are asking us to trust them that are only spying on the bad people. Yet not only is history littered with examples of good people who took well intentioned eavesdropping to the point of persecuting innocent citizens, but this administration in particular has a history of twisting the truth and being flat wrong. Have they earned that trust?
No one is asking that they publish a list of who they are listening to on the web. Just let another branch of government in on the secret so that the checks and balances which form the core of our democratic system can work as they should.
That doesn’t sound so very un-American, does it?