Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Kind Of Horseshit I Have to Deal With

Thursday, I posted an excerpt from Glenn Greenwald's Nov. 30th column about how the warrantless wiretapping program is still illegal no matter how the Chimp uses the extrajudicial, unconstitutional powers he's seized for himself.

This is the kind of response I get:

Andy D said...

The program continues to be misrepresented. The program isn't wiretapping, and it has safe guards built in so that only terrorist are targeted. The information obtained from the program can't be used for civil criminal investigations. It has netted results, and we have captured high profile targets using this program.

Horseshit, Andy.

I find it illuminating that, in a column about how Bushites try to focus on the use rather than the legality of warrantless wiretapping, when the money quote I used was

It is truly astounding to watch people incapable of understanding the point that the reason it is wrong and dangerous for the President to eavesdrop on Americans without warrants is because doing so is against the law. Shouldn't that be a simple enough proposition that every functioning adult ought to be capable of understanding it?
Andy responds by once again "misunderstanding" the point. What part of "because it's a felony" do you not get, Andy?

Here's another quote, from the same column. I'd icily suggest that you read it this time, but that leads me to the realization that I screwed up the link to it in the last post. I'd better fix that.

One more time: the principal problem with the President's warrantless eavesdropping is not that he is abusing the secret eavesdropping powers he seized (that is something we do not yet know, because the Congress has not yet investigated that question). Instead, the "problem" is that the President is engaging in the very conduct which the American people, through their Congress almost 30 years ago, made it a felony to engage in, punishable by up to five years in prison -- that is, eavesdropping on Americans without judicial oversight.

Thus, even if Lanny Davis and the other Republicans on the panel think the President is using his illegal powers carefully, his conduct is no less illegal. Why is it necessary even to point that out? This has been the obvious and paramount point from the beginning, as I wrote in my book (at pages 25, 60) (emphasis in original):

The heart of the matter is that the president broke the law, deliberately and repeatedly, no matter what his rationale was for doing so. We do not have a system of government in which the president has the right to violate laws, even if he believes doing so will produce good results. . . .

The NSA eavesdropping scandal, as its core, is not an eavesdropping scandal. It is a lawbreaking scandal....
Are we clear, now? I even added some emphasis, so you wouldn't miss the point. Address that, if you will.

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