Thursday, December 29, 2005

Even Some Conservatives Get It.

Paul Mulshine is certainly not a left-wing moonbat by any stretch of the imagination, so it was with some shock that I read his most recent column in the Star Tribune.

This is an amusing time for observers of democracy in America.

President Bush, in reaction to revelations about domestic surveillance, expresses outrage at those who would leak classified information to the news media. "My personal opinion is it was a shameful act for someone to disclose this very important program in time of war," Bush said.

...The leaker, or leakers, seems to have been motivated not by a desire to score political points, but a desire to make the American public aware of a program of dubious constitutionality. The executive branch seems to be claiming almost unlimited power to tap into phone calls, e-mails and other electronic communications. Even if you trust the current Republican administration to use this power wisely, what constraints are there on a future Democratic administration?

"You can't do these things on a basis of trust. There have to be some sort of checks and balances."

That opinion comes not from a liberal but from David Keene of the American Conservative Union. Keene, who worked in the White House under Vice President Spiro Agnew, knows a thing or two about executive overreaching. He is among a number of prominent conservatives who worry about the unchecked growth of presidential power in the Bush administration.

...Keene is among a number of conservatives you could call either "hard-core" or "paranoid" about this sort of thing. So am I. The suspicion among us right-wing nuts is that the government is involved in what is known as "data mining." That would involve not just a finite number of wiretaps, all perfectly fine under FISA, but a wide net collecting vast numbers of phone calls and e-mails, all of which could be sifted through computers to sort out various data.

Such a program would produce all sorts of interesting information, very little of it related to terrorism. The executive branch might, for example, learn that a member of the legislative branch has a sweetheart in the suburbs of D.C. That information might then be used to secure the cooperation of this congressman on matters crucial to the administration.

...As for this administration, can the same people who leaked the name of a CIA agent for political gain be trusted not to use other secrets for political gain?

That's certainly possible. In fact, I believe that there is a perfectly satisfactory explanation for this entire endeavor. But I'm looking forward to those Senate hearings just the same.
[Emphasis added]

This is one time I'm not going to sing out "even a broken clock is right twice a day," because I think more than that is going on here.
Mulshine really does get it, as will any thoughtful American if the press would just report this without the fear-mongering and 'fair and balanced' coverage the current regime depends on.

Nicely done, Mr. Mulshine. Nicely done.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shut up and quit voting for yourself.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Elmo said...

us right-wing nuts

Admission to one's faults is the path to true knowledge.

8:10 PM  

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