Over at the Bawlmer Sun, the ACLU's Susan Goering has an op-ed up about the Congressional efforts to maximize the Maximum Leader's domestic surveillance powers and to let the telecoms off scott free for all their lawless complicity.
This story did not go away over the Christmas Holiday, and looks fair to get more intense come the New Year.
Ms Goering points out that the Bushevik Regime routinely lies to Congress about the scope and extent of their domestic spying operations, and Congress routinely bows its head and doffs its cap in response.
• They told us it was all about stopping terrorism. But now we've learned that the NSA's massive wiretapping and data collection program started long before 9/11 - in fact, it started in the 1990s - and was ramped up by this administration immediately after President Bush took office. The NSA also routinely collects phone records for run-of-the-mill drug cases that have nothing to do with terrorism.
• They told us they weren't targeting domestic conversations. But now we find out that the taps weren't focused on foreigners or even international calls. The Times reveals that part of what made telecom Qwest balk at a request for data in early 2001 was that the program was designed to pick up significant amounts of purely domestic communications by granting the NSA access "to their most localized communications switches, which primarily carry domestic calls," and that only "limited international traffic also passes through the switches."
• They told us they were gathering just the data they absolutely needed to fight terrorism. But now we know that this is not a program narrowly targeted at terrorists. Their repeated assurances that the government doesn't conduct vast dragnet operations just aren't true. As The Times reported, "The NSA met with AT&T officials to discuss replicating a Bedminster, N.J., network center here in Maryland to give the agency access to all the global phone and e-mail traffic that ran through it."
The point of this out of control domestic spying, which has been under way on a small scale for decades, but expanded exponentially once the Busheviks seized the White House, may be difficult to fathom. Is it done for intimidation and control of ordinary citizens? Is it done to collect "useful information" on political enemies and rivals? Is it done to Fight Crime? Is it done to stop the Terrriss under our beds? All of the above? None?
The fact that we sit around at our keyboards contemplating just what these mooks are up to, furiously trying to puzzle it out, and put a stop to it(!) is probably thrilling to the CheneyBunkers, where all this lawlessness and perfidy seems to originate. They want us scared, and they want us all tied up in knots trying to figure out what they're doing, while they just go on about their business, plotting and planning, and plodding along, taking out one enemy at a time, relentless, like the Daleks, and in some ways just as stupid.
They just keep at it.
As must we. Locked in struggle. In the Perpetual Fight For Freedom Against Tyranny. Or maybe not.
Despite all the success the CheneyBunker has had transforming this nation's Government into a gasping, sputtering, gas-hog of an Autocracy, spewing carbon emissions and poisons all over creation, the People, somewhat bemused, go about their own business.