Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Go ahead and spy on me (the right loses its collective mind)
Michelle Malkin kicks off the crazy with this rant about the totally predictable lawsuits in the wake of Mr. Bush's domestic spy-fest, and this piece in good ole Townhall.com (in which she so cleverly weaves in the cool catch-word "idiotarians..." (wowee, you're a clever girl...!) accusing the New York Times of all papers -- of being "anti-American" for belatedly doing its job and exposing clear lawbreaking by the president of the United States.

That would be the same New York Times that has bowed and scraped at the president's feet since the build-up to the Iraq invasion, which coddled insubordinate Judy Miller as she embarked on a one-woman Iraq WMD crusade in which she was paid by the paper to carry the water of Iranian spy Ahmad Chalabi... the same New York Times that held the NSA domestic spying story for a full year, granting the president a clear path to reelection in exchange for a later scoop designed to help sell the reporter's book... I could go on, but the Prospect makes the anti-Times/anti-establishment press case quite well here... Malkin accuses that New York Times of "giving aid and comfort to The Enemy..." And the Bush-bots shout "Amen!" God, give me strength... These people want to live in a totalitarian state so badly it's killing them (but at least "the terrorists" arent... right???) What ever happened to the American spirit of "Give me liberty or give me death?" These days, it's "Give me safety and you can have my liberty for nothing!" Here's a sample post from the Bush Faithful, and my response. Keep in mind, this is an actual post by an actual supposed conservative:


What side are you on?

... I have a question to American journalists in general.

In your heart, would you rather be a good American or a good journalist?

It is obvious these days journalists don’t feel like they can be both. I understand journalists are supposed to be the “watchdog” over our government by covering and reporting on its activities; however, under no circumstances should this be tolerated at the expense of our national security.

I don’t want to know what top secret programs we have.
I don’t want to know how we are spying on our enemy.
I don’t want to know in which countries the CIA is holding prisoners.
I don’t want to know all of our interrogation methods…

…because if I know, our enemy knows. That is dangerous for America.

It is time for the journalists of America to become Americans first.
That was someone called JR Wilson at The Political Page. Perhaps he should change it to "Sweet Jesus don't tell me how, just keep the Eyerackees from under my bead Weblog" or the "Shred the Constitution! I put my faith in my Republican Supreme Leader Daily"...? I posted the following response to him, and with all due respect ... Ok never mind I totally disrespect that post...


What an absolutely absurd question. And here's one for you: What country do you want to live in? You apparently would be very much at home in the old Soviet Union, where bugging your phone and your kitchen were de regeur... or maybe you could cozy up in a little cabin in Havana, where the government watches your every move, and there's nery a terror attack? Wake up, whoever you are! This country was founded on the principles of freedom -- primarily freedom from oppressive, intrusive government. If you don't like that, and you'd rather be spied on in order for your daddy, the president to "keep you safe", move to North Korea.
Darn, I sure hope I spelled "de regeur" correctly... that would really suck... More posts from the Constitution-abandoning right:

Powerline's Scott Johnson praises Malkin's Times-busting piece here, and muses that domestic spying is both legal and "good for you" here (with some minor questions of separation of powers "process...")

The Texas Rainmaker reaches for entirely irrelevant case law to try and prove that Clinton did it too!!! (see the subsequent post) and posits that if only Valerie Plame had been al-Qaida, the Times would have blessed the leak. Huh? I'm still waiting for your side to condemn the leak of that classified information. ... Still waiting... waiiiiitiiiiing...

I'll just go ahead and quote Zardozz:


Washington needs to step up to the plate and take the gloves off with respect to MSM's apparent mission to stoop to new depths in order to throw obstacles in front of the NSA, the CIA and the Administration. They do this in the name of protecting individual rights -- but most every thinking American knows there's a political agenda behind it. Mainstream America is supportive of our government doing everything it can to protect it's citizens from indiscriminate murder. Even if it means invading the privacy of suspected terrorist conspirators that happen to be living in this country! U.S. Citizens or not! That's how we feel about it here.
The FReepers post and react to a Rasmussen survey that makes me question the sanity of two-thirds of Americans (or at least whether they paid any attention at all in civics class...

The Cap'n at Captain's Quarters says if a terrorist attack does occur, Americans are gonna blame the Democrats and the New York Times... And he goes on to ... wait for it ... blame the FISA court for obstructing the president's exercise of absolute power...

Okay, I need a dose of sanity. Philly Inquirer, take it away:
Nobody ever said it was a risk-free proposition to stand by the U.S. Constitution.

Not the nation's founders, certainly: They risked their very lives in waging the war for independence that led to enshrining the Constitution's democratic ideals in the first place.

And now the threat of terrorism sharpens the risk posed by living in an open, democratic society.

As long as the nation values and protects by law the rights of everyday Americans to be spared from unwarranted snooping, its enemies could find ways to exploit that openness - as they assuredly did on Sept. 11, 2001.

Citizens have a choice. They can live with that risk, understanding it for the central role it plays in making this a nation worth preserving. Or they can surrender to fear - out of a misguided sense that no civil liberty is so cherished as to risk another terror attack by its defense.

In President Bush's first formal defense to Congress of his secret, warrantless domestic eavesdropping program, there is the scent of surrender.

In a letter sent on Thursday to Congress from the Department of Justice, the Bush administration argued that national security trumps the privacy concerns of individuals.

While giving a nod to the "important and legitimate privacy interest at stake," a top Justice Department lawyer said it "must be balanced... against the government's compelling interest in the security of the nation."

It sounds like a classic example of trying to justify the means by the ends. Security is all-important, therefore the normal requirement to obtain court approval for surveillance had to be short-circuited?

That reasoning is an affront to Americans who hold dear both their liberty and their lives...
Thank God there are still some people left in this country who cherish its founding principles. I lived in New York. I live in the southern sieve called Florida where terrorists could float right up to the coastline and be cheered on entry by repoters, just by pretending to be Cubans. I don't want to be blown up in a terrorist attack anymore than anyone else. But damned if my parents came to this country to bear their children in a police state. If the right has its way, the press will lie down at the feet of the president and dutifully report the daily "good news" of his beneficent rule, the people will ignore their liberties and forget there ever was a Constitution, and we'll all be just as "safe" as the old Soviets, the Cubans or the Maoist Chinese.

God help us all.

Update: The Counterterrorism Blog fleshes out the coming court challenges, making the point that the legal challenges (to begin, where else but in Florida, as early as next week) give new urgency to the job of ferreting out the legality/illegality of the Bush wiretaps...

Talkleft digs into the cases as well...

A timely quote from my favorite pundit, Craig Crawford... and another one. Dude, Bush isn't the only Republican who's been watching too much "24"...

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posted by JReid @ 11:55 AM  
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"I am for enhanced interrogation. I don't believe waterboarding is torture... I'll do it. I'll do it for charity." -- Sean Hannity
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