The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Monday, December 19, 2005

KING BUSH

Okay, I'm busy today, plus it's my birthday, so I didn't get to see Bush's press conference earlier today in which he defended his "king me!" program of illegal, unconstitutional, warrantless eavesdropping of American citizens. But reading this makes my irony meter asplode:
U.S. President George W. Bush said on Monday he presumed a Justice Department leak investigation was underway into who disclosed a secret NSA eavesdropping operation.

"My personal opinion is it was a shameful act for someone to disclose this very important program in a time of war," Bush told a news conference at which he was questioned repeatedly about the controversial operation disclosed on Friday by The new York Times.

"There's a process that goes on inside the Justice Department about leaks. I presume that process is moving forward," Bush added.
Because if anyone has respect for process, it's this president. The main reason that so many people have problems with King Bush's eavesdropping program is not that he's spying on American citizens, it's because there's a process by which he could have legally done so -- the FISA Court -- and he chose not to do so. If the people he was spying on have, as he put it, "clear links to Al Qaeda", there wouldn't have been any problem getting the necessary warrants approved.

This is about unchecked executive power. This is about adding chapters to the Political Science 12 textbook at UCSB. This is Fujimori shit.

And what have Bush and his apologists done? They've tried to steer the issue away from a checks and balances issue, and towards a debate they think they can win, or at least fight to a draw. They're attempting to file it next to the secret prisons issue as a "unpatriotic leaking" debate, while at the same time they're making the "bad for national security to oppose this" argument. Because we've already had similar debates, and because it's easier to shoehorn a new issue into an old debate than start a new and unique debate, the media has been lethargically slow to address the presidential power issues inherent to warrantless syping.

Bush defends America! Democrats say we shouldn't defend America! That story is easy to write, but it suffers from the obvious affliction of not being the truth.

UPDATE: And sometimes, the media simply doesn't understand the issue.

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