Friends and Enemies

So, Americans can be spied upon by the NSA without the need of a warrant. No need to be worried (sorry Calabash [1, 2, 3]).

Individuals who have attempted to assassinate OBL are imprisoned and tortured for that act. (That means it’s a crime to take down America’s most wanted?)

Individuals who are actively killing Americans are arrested and released just for fun.

Any questions as to how the war on terror(ism) is going?

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2 thoughts on “Friends and Enemies

  1. Americans can’t be subject to real-time interception of content communications (to be precise) on without a warrant and the quite stringent standards of wiretap laws. That’s called a crime, even when the President does it. But don’t confuse apples and oranges, and swallow uncritically the hysterical claims from self-appointed civil liberties defenders. They would leave us unarmed, which is just as bad as a White House run amok. You’ll see that in my posts, I call for balance; democratic debate on the conduct of the fight against al-Qaeda and its Salafist supporters; and political accountability which is to say, transparency in the policy (but obviously not in the operation).
    You know where I work, and we front line guys were uniformly outraged about this story. There should be an investigation and criminal charges, as appropriate. And if Arlen Spector has his way, there will be.

  2. Calabash, I agree with you. We do need better tools to fight crime, including terrorist activity. For example, my understanding of the roving wiretap has me thinking why it’s taken so long to get such a thing passed.
    My objection to certain laws is two-fold at the moment, both macro-level. One is that I think that bills like the PATRIOT Act and the Omnibus Counter-Terrorism Act of 1996 are too large and convoluted to be useful tools without opening the doors to abuse. Issues that affect civil liberties needed to be presented piece meal in order to have real debate about the issues, and to help avoid unintended consequences. The blunderbuss approach seems ineffective, stifles debate, and like an attempt to hide other ends.
    With this administration specifically, there is clearly an attempt to elevate the executive branch to a higher-level than the other two branches of government. Without oversight, without the hard pull left for the hard pull right, this presidency could have a long-term negative impact not only on the rights of individuals, but on the very structure of our government. That may sound alarmist, and in a small space it is meant to be. However, it’s also a useful tool to get a conversation going, to move from argument to debate.

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