Thursday, September 14, 2006

Spooky Kabuki

The invaluable website Raw Story has acquired a set of talking points written by the National Security Agency and distributed to members of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The talking points pertain to the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program.

You can see Raw Story’s story – and the talking points themselves – here:

http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Raw_acquires_NSA_wiretap_talking_points_0913.html

The talking points are the same old “The terrorists are coming!” and “God bless our sneaky-but-selfless wiretappers” drivel the Bushies have been spouting all along. This is a remarkably unremarkable – and threadbare – piece of work.

What’s worth noting, though, is how old and tired the tactic itself feels.

Here we have the NSA passing out tired old rhetoric to a bunch of tired old guys, some of whom will go out there and mouth this crap to the tired old mainstream media, who will create a tired old tempest in a tired old teapot.

Tired old pundits will get on tired old cable television shows where tired old hosts will eke four or five tired old minutes worth of debate out of the subject.

It’s all tired, old, spooky kabuki. It’s spin on top of spin to a point where we can’t get hold of the real policy issue any more.

Strip away everything tired and old. Work your way down to the real issue, and you’ll see it’s important – as fundamentally important as the Declaration of Independence itself.

The real issue is whether or not the government has the right to wiretap Americans without obtaining warrant. It isn’t who those Americans are. It isn’t whom those Americans associate with. It’s whether or not the government can do it.

The Fourth Amendment says no. It has said no for more than two hundred years. The Fourth Amendment, unlike the NSA talking points and the politicians, pundits and TV hosts playing inside-the-beltway kabuki, is neither tired nor old. Let’s hope that, when the time comes, the Roberts Supreme Court will see it that way.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Tony said...

Pete, we're out there and we're reading. Keep it up.

T

9:23 AM  

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