Taps

August 4, 2007

I hear the bugle playing, and it’s playing for every one of us.

For those who are unaware, uninformed or just plain deaf – the federal government has been tapping international calls for quite some time now… all without the acquisition of any kind of warrant, and without any kind of oversight.  This program was predicated on the "knowledge" that the 9/11 terrorists had made several calls out of the country before their attack… causing several politicians, and our self-prescribed betters to extrapolate the notion that had we been tapping phones, 9/11 wouldn’t have happened. 

Of course… had our federal government not had its head up its rectum… 9/11 wouldn’t have happened as well. 

I’ve yet to hear Congress debate the possibility of a cranio-rectal-ectomy.  I wont hold my breath.

The default response to the 9/11 bogeyman argument has been, "What?  Anti-terrorism?  I don’t need to hear anything else!  Do it!" for quite some time now.  This is due almost entirely to the fact that we’re a nation of water-headed imbeciles, who believe everything we’re told.  That and the fact that the national media has ceased to be a respectable enclave of integrity and truth… but instead has slipped into a sickeningly cynical band of opportunists, coasting along on their moral ambiguity and ad revenues. 

The minute I saw a commercial on a news channel… I knew not to listen.

Here’s the deal.  The FISA courts – as I have read and understood them – were created quite some time ago, specifically for this issue.  As I understand it… the FISA court is designed specifically to weigh the credibility of the NSA’s interest in tapping a specific phone line… and then granting a warrant, stipulating that the NSA has that right to tap the line, or telling the NSA to go piss up a rope.  Now… the counter-argument to this, mainly by Bush Administration slime-machines, has been that "We’re at war, and we don’t have time to sit around and wait for the justice system to analyze the legality of any particular issue… this is war buddy.  The ends justify the means.  Freedom."

I can appreciate why the federal government wouldn’t want to sit around and wait for legal scholars to bandy around legal issues, and live up to their image… which is specifically why the FISA court was designed to allow the feds a few days of tapping BEFORE they have to apply for the warrant.  What this means is… the NSA gets a tip…they go after it… a couple of days later, they take their findings to the court, and the court either green-lights it… or they shoot it down.

This, my pretties, is called checks and balances.  You may be familiar with it… it’s the central tennant of our democracy.   The founding fathers came up with it.  They were some clever chaps, those founding fathers.

But apparently they don’t love freedom enough.  In our current society… loving freedom means being willing to ruin it… all in the name of defending it.

See, Congress… the newly retaken, now Democratic congress (note that by Democratic, I mean Congress populated with Democrats… not a Congress in the spirit of Democracy… which is the furthest thing from what we’ve got right now) decided that summer vacation was more important than protecting the civil liberties of the American public… voted today to expand the NSA’s wiretapping program.

Bush threatened to make them stay at work so long that it would cut into kayak and lobster time.  The Democrats, being ineffectual and worthless, were unable to do anything to stop this latest atrocity… in fact several of them voted to pass the bill.  Also in goose-step with the President’s plan was my old friend Joe "Video Games  Are the New Holocaust" Lieberman… who has, in the past year, done everything possible to attract my purest hatred and ire. 

Bottom line – the federal government is tapping phones without first having to apply for a warrant.  Bush also believes that being able to tap phones BEFORE applying for one, but getting around to it eventually isn’t good enough.  His counterargument to the suggestion that what he’s doing violates FISA laws, and our basic civil liberties? 

Paraphrase:  "I’m the President.  We’re at war.  I can do it if I want."

The Democrats have done nothing to stop this. 

Glad to see that things have changed.

This is why I’m not a Democrat… there isn’t a single fucking one of them worth a damn. 

No branch of government can be autonomous.  There must be checks and balances.  Without checks and balances… we’re not free.  Without checks and balances, we’re not American.  If America isn’t America anymore… it’s just some place where I live.  It’s just a bunch of dirt and rocks.

So I don’t care if Muslim terrorists blow it up anymore.

I don’t care who wins anymore. 

America is dead. 

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