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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

We are not alone

No, not aliens. Feds.

It's a fairly safe assumption based on the latest revelations of Bush administration domestic spying operations, such as those reported by The New York Times and The Washington Post that have some folks with badges reading these posts. Those same folks targeted during the anti-war protests of the Vietnam Era.

It's a chilling thought that a president who seems to believe he answers only to (his version of) God feels not a whit of concern about turning on a domestic spying operation in the name of catching "terrorists."

Let's be clear here. I am not opposed to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies with the legal power to act within our borders to seek warrants, even from secret courts, if they have suspicions that someone poses an imminent threat to our safety. I don't want any more buildings blown up and innocent people massacred.

But our president has a very hard time separating people like me -- who disagree with him -- from those who seek to do us harm. His rhetoric always sets up straw men that makes it clear you are with him or a traitor. He has said told the world bluntly that you are either with the terrorists or with "us."

Now, ponder these words, reported by the Post:
The Post reported that the FBI has issued tens of thousands of national security letters, extending the bureau's reach as never before into the telephone calls, correspondence and financial lives of ordinary Americans. Most of the U.S. residents and citizens whose records were screened, the FBI acknowledged, were not suspected of wrongdoing.

The burgeoning use of national security letters coincided with an unannounced decision to deposit all the information they yield into government data banks -- and to share those private records widely, in the federal government and beyond. In late 2003, the Bush administration reversed a long-standing policy requiring agents to destroy their files on innocent American citizens, companies and residents when investigations closed.
All those people really communicating with folks in Afghanistan? What are they doing with that information? Checking on the IP address I'm using to write this? Or the one you are using to read it?

To repeat a crucial point: no one is suggesting (except George Bush and his pals) that people who oppose his policies want to do away with surveillance of bad guys. No, we want to do away with surveillance of innocent people exercising the constitutional rights we are alleged fighting and dying for in Iraq.

You know, freedom and democracy, not having a tyrant looking over our shoulder every minute of the day, trying to impose a narrow-minded religious philosophy on us.

What do you think Fed?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there no bottom to what the American people will accept in the mistaken belief that they are being "protected?" I am amazed, shocked, horrified, less by the actions of President Bush, which are totally consistent with the personality and policies that he has always espoused, but by the failure of AMERICANS to CARE about their own country. Our beloved country. The light of the world. Sliding into darkness. WHY don't people SHOUT their fury?
California Liberal

December 18, 2005 1:29 PM  

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