Monday, January 23, 2006

george w. bush is a big fat idiot, and other observations

On the administration's spying program, recently coined the "Terrorist Surveillance Program", courtesy of the Associated Press:

Bush said a congressional resolution passed after Sept. 11, 2001, that authorized him to use force in the fight against terrorism, also allowed him to order the top-secret program. That operation was disclosed last month by The New York Times.

"Congress gave me the authority to use necessary force to protect the American people, but it didn't prescribe the tactics," Bush said, adding that the government needs to know why people linked to al Qaida are calling into the U.S. "One of the ways to protect the American people is to understand the intentions of the enemy."

Apparently, "force" implies that you can spy on the American people. And, apparently, the authority to use force against terrorist regimes is a blank check for GWB to do whatever his little heart desires in order to cover up for the fact that his cronies dropped the ball in the Summer of '01. Why does the current administration feel the need to set this country back 300 years? If my memories of 10th grade AP American History serve me, wasn't one of the reasons why we wanted the Brits out of Colonial America the fact that they felt the need to spy on the people to ensure that some treasonous actions were not being undertaken?*

I'd also like to point out that the NSA's normal surveillance tactics uncovered the flight school that the 9/11 hijackers were attending, the plans to target the WTC, a report entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside U.S.", and a few other key elements. Why, now, is this spying essential to our security? Why does the buck not stop with the idiots in charge themselves? We didn't need special surveillance tactics to uncover vital information that we would turn around and ignore because they were uncovered by the previous administration. Just because you avoided getting indicted doesn't mean that you're not guilty as sin. Remember: Even O.J. Simpson got acquitted of double murder.

Likewise, I'm shocked by the reports that we're considering letting the female Iraqi prisoners go just to save that poor journalist that's being held hostage. First of all, letting these prisoners go completely negates the principle that democratic states do not negotiate with terrorist organizations. It's a terrible precedent to set, and one that could only end badly. And what about people such as Daniel Pearl, a reporter executed in early 2002, for whom there was no negotiation? What are you supposed to tell his widow and child about the government's desire to save his life? Second, terrorist organizations don't exactly follow the Geneva Convention - there is nothing saying that letting these prisoners go free will result in the release of Jill Carroll. Rather, I'd be willing to bet that our release of the 9 prisoners would only expedite her execution.

The bottom line: The #1 intention of any terrorist organization is to instill fear in the hearts of their target(s). By enacting this operation, the administration is showing that not only have the terrorists won, but that they won by the slaughter rule (10 runs or more after 5 innings of Little League baseball, I believe). You know they're sitting over there laughing at what they have caused the Land of the Formerly Free to become. And the more we acquiesce, the more motivated they're going to become to continue to act and, if all goes well, completely self-destruct, as all great civilizations inevitably do.


*The plus-side to setting the country back 300 years, of course, is the fact that the Republican Party didn't come into existence until the 1850s.

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