Monday, January 23, 2006

Spying PR Blitz 

UPDATE: This morning, General Hayden, the author of the piece I link to below, denied that the words "probable cause" appear in the 4th Amendment. Hmm... I sure am glad that a guy like that is looking after my civil liberties. Sweet mercy.


The Bush administration's response to critics of the illegal wiretapping program is true to form. It's a public relations strategy that obfuscates the issues. When asked for an explanation, they deliver a smokescreen.

For example, take this piece from the WaPo.

This is all about how the program is "limited" and "effective." I'll ignore the fact that all evidence that is not self-serving press conferences by those implicated in the mess suggests that the program was neither limited or effective. Even if we take these arguments as true, they still don't explain why the government couldn't work through the FISA courts to get warrants. And if there's a problem with the law, there's no explanation as to why the Congress was not approached to change the law and permit the "limited," "effective" surveilance to go ahead legally.

They're answering a question that wasn't asked because there is no answer to the important question, "why," that doesn't point to some political (as opposed to national security) motive for the program. There's no solid evidence for that conclusion, but that's the assumption I'm going to stick to until I get a reasonable explanation from the government. The holes in this story all point that way, as far as I'm concerned.


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