Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Roof IS NOT on Fire. We don't need no fear....

Operation Backfill and the NSA Hearings
This entire diary is a necessary read.
"And when your house is on fire, you grant privileges to the rescue personnel you would never allow under any other circumstances: permission for total strangers to enter your house, whisk your baby out of sight to safety, toss your belongings out the window, hose down your Reniors, hustle you off to the nearest Red Cross center. We granted intrusions into our lives in those shaky days right after 9/11 (appropriately so, in light of possible other follow-up attacks) that we would never allow under any other circumstances.

But we are now in a preventive phase and have been for several years. The questions we're grappling with as a country now are not about putting out a current fire; rather, they focus on any and all ways to avert another one. To carry out the fire metaphor: We know there is an arsonist in the neighborhood who wishes us ill. The powers we granted to the rescue workers during the fire are no longer appropriate, and at any rate would not yield the results we need. After all, four years after a home fire, we don't allow firefighters to roust us from our beds at 3 AM, to kick down our doors, to destroy our property in the name of 'rescuing' us when there are only rumors of planned flames some vague time in the future.
Someone's got to tell Mr. Bush the fire's out and that what this country needs more than boogeyman visuals from its attorney general are firm, well-reasoned, coordinated, legal policies to ensure we don't catch fire again. Don't like the surveillance restrictions in FISA, Mr. Attorney General? Well, now's as good a time as any to offer calm rationalizations in front of the cameras of this country, using old, verifiable, truthful instances (the Brooklyn Bridge plot doesn't fly, Mr. Gonzales) or clear-cut, specfic hypotheticals in which these "backfilled" rights violations should be legalized to spare us an attack. Then we can have a national conversation about what rights we're willing to give up in the trade-off for personal security. Simply relying on crisis-granted powers - and even those considered by most legal scholars as illegal - is not selling me.
Ex-President Carter: Eavesdropping Illegal
"Under the Bush administration, there's been a disgraceful and illegal decision — we're not going to the let the judges or the Congress or anyone else know that we're spying on the American people," Carter told reporters. "And no one knows how many innocent Americans have had their privacy violated under this secret act."
Cable news is worthless

News of the Net:
Blogs Catching On With Web Users

News of the Cool:
'Lost world' found in jungle


Anonymous said...

I am aware that I can do stupid things and think stupid thoughts when I am afraid. I understand how keeping me in perpetual fear would make me less lucid. Maybe it was becasue the 9/11 attacks were so far away. In some ways New York seems as foreign to me as Budapest. I was not afraid then and I am not afraid now. Maybe if I had been/were now afraid I could sympathize more with all these people running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Beheaded chickenhawks!

AAW said...

Living in fear is not a free democratic state of mind. What's the quote, "He who gives up liberty due to fear doesn't deserve liberty". Clinton didn't use the Oklahoma City bombing to scare the bejesus out of the nation.

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