Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Terrorist Surveillance Program

You have to admit the administration has chutzpah. Caught with its pants down spying on Americans without court approval, the new strategy is to turn bane to boon.

That vile salamander Karl Rove, obviously feeling safe from special prosecutor Daniel Fitzpatrick’s probing tentacles, thought it safe to come out from under his rock the other day and provide (r)epublicans with their 2006 midterm election blueprint.

The proposed theme was a real shocker: national security.

They’re going to tell Americans, for the third election cycle since 9/11, that voting Democrat will lead to mushroom clouds and nerve gas dirty bombs and whatever else they can pull out of their Harry Potter-world heads.

No sooner were Rove’s words spoken than the administration began its propaganda blitz, turning a spying program into a “terrorist surveillance” program and dispatching its wicked little minions to TV talk shows for a spreading of this hackneyed gospel.

The “Washington Post’s" Dan Froomkin returned from wherever it was he went to fire his opening salvo of the new year on this matter.

Here it is:

We as a people know nothing about the spying program and if we want to find out, somebody will have to spend good money to sue the administration and run a legal gauntlet now largely staffed with its own handpicked sycophants.

The point being, what's the point?

We are to take the administration’s word for it; they’re just listening to Al-Qaeda operatives and no one else. Of course, if that were the case, what would be the problem with going to court for a little prior approval? Why the secrecy? Who’d be against that?

How do they know the people they’re listening to are Al-Qaeda operatives? Did the guy that told them Al-Qaeda’s “number two” man was going to be at the luncheon in Pakistan they bombed tell them?

the scribe hopes not, because that killed a lot of innocent people breaking bread, but no number two man. Which is why there are laws requiring the executive branch show good cause before it brings the force of a powerful government down upon the life of a suspected man or woman or luncheon.

The Bushies have the audacity to suggest that if they were allowed to spy on everyone before, they would have had warning about 9/11 and been able to prevent it.

One thing they’re clear on is that the American people have very short memories, because some of us do recall that back in the summer of 2004, Condesencia Rice had to first admit, and then downplay, the fact there were clear warnings about 9/11 that Bush chose to ignore while he was clearing brush down at the ranch.

So we should all know better by now.

Yesterday, "The New York Times" also ran an article about the administration’s refusal to hand over communications relative to the Katrina debacle in the wake of reports it had warnings about what might happen there, too.

Again, let the scribe prod your memories: the (p)resident was at the ranch clearing brush.

Here it is:

And here’s another article about something else they won’t do: release pictures of Bush with stoolpigeon lobbyist Jack Abramoff. White House spokespersons say the photos are “not relevant.” How are they not relevant? And if they’re not, well, why not release them?

Hiding this, lying about that, spying on these and then spying on those, and they say we need (r)epublicans to protect us from whom? From (r)epublicans?

They’re going to spend the next 10 months painting Democrats as limp-wristed, gun-shy wimps, not manly enough to do the job that needs to be done – protecting Americans.

But if you go back to Froomkin’s “White House Briefing” and get to the part where someone at Bush’s appearance in Kansas asked the (p)resident about the film “Brokeback Mountain,” you’ll sample just how much of a “man” he really is.

Froomkin quotes the “L.A. Times” reporter Peter Wallstein who wrote: “Although the story line is full of [r]epublican touchstones – small-town Fourth of July celebrations, a father’s devotion to his children, even the wide-open landscape of Wyoming, Vice President Dick Cheney’s home state – the depiction of homosexuality makes the film untouchable for a politician.”

What politician? It’s a monster hit. Maybe the people who vote and the people who go to movies are separate blocks. If that’s the case, then the Dems should figure out a way to get the movie folks to vote. How? By fielding the kind of men who are able to say, “I saw that film and found it moving, thought-provoking and relevant,” and be comfortable doing so.

Not by mimicking some fake cowboy whose masculinity lies in his ability to blindly bomb tiny countries, but who is fearful his manliness might be questioned because he was open and sensitive enough to understand a piece of popular film making.

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