Prague Twin

Monday, May 15, 2006

Abuse of Power

On Friday, Bush gave his weekly radio address wherein he claimed...

It is important for Americans to understand that our activities strictly target al Qaeda and its known affiliates........ Our efforts are focused on links to al Qaeda terrorists and its affiliates who want to harm the American people.

Today, ABC's news blog reports that the database the NSA is developing will be used to identify journalists' sources in an effort to fight leaks.

Irrespective of whether or not this is legal, or whether or not you agree with the NSA's use of this information, if this report is accurate, the president has lied to the public.

I know, it's shocking. Hard to imagine even.

But the larger point is that the gathering of information for one purpose can lead to it being used for another purpose. Once the government oversteps its bounds, the infringements will continue. Give them an inch.... History Mike has a great post on this point.

The datamining efforts by the NSA, however, are just a portion of the gradual erosion of privacy in this country, which began long before President Bush took office. Once the door is opened to illegal acts by the government the precedent is set for future assaults on liberty, and members of both major parties seem all too willing to allow our liberties to be usurped.


This is the point that gets overlooked in all of this. The question should not be, "will datamining efforts help the NSA fight terrorism?" The question should be, "is datamining legal and constitutional in this case?"

As we continue to give up our civil liberties in the interests of expediency, facism continues to make further inroads.

6 Comments:

  • Maybe the Bushies have good reason to suspect Brian Ross of ABC News (and other reporters from the mainstream media) are terrorists?

    I would think that if these reporters are embarrassing the administration by exposing secrets and fuck-ups, the Bushies probably see them as terrorists!

    By Blogger reality-based educator, at 7:51 PM  

  • If they are not terrorists, they are helping the terrorists. Right? Wouldn't if be funny to connect journalists (like Michael Ware for example) to terrorism because they are reporting on terrorism.

    Wait, maybe that isn't so funny. That would make us terrorists too.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 8:18 PM  

  • Today, ABC's news blog reports that the database the NSA is developing will be used to identify journalists' sources in an effort to fight leaks.

    EEEKKK! Control the ability of a vigorous press to check the power of the government, a small but very important step on the way to totalinarianism.

    By Blogger Kvatch, at 9:40 PM  

  • What about when the press over steps its bounds and leaks information that may prove detrimental to life and limb both domestically and abroad? Are you just as upset with them, or do you save your ire exclusively for the government?

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 2:47 AM  

  • Don't shoot the messenger.

    If the politicians behaved, there wouldn't be anything to leak, now would there?

    Or are you refering to Geraldo Rivera's leak of US battle positions which got him tossed out of Iraq?

    I save my ire for anyone who breaks the law. You should try it.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 2:51 PM  

  • Are you just as upset with them, or do you save your ire exclusively for the government?

    You want to provide some specifics there so that we can get down to brass tacks?

    Speculating that you're referring to NSA's illegal surveillance of American citizens...then yes I save my ire solely for the government, because no amount of danger to life an limb trumps the Constitution. Were that the case, then one wonders why we would even have a Constitution. Or are you the kind of reletavist that supports Bush's contention that no laws apply to him when he's "defending the country"?

    By Blogger Kvatch, at 1:32 AM  

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