Monday, June 23

I Give Up. But First, Don't You Owe Hillary Clinton An Apology?

It is not all that I would want. But given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay. So I support the compromise, but do so with a firm pledge that as President, I will carefully monitor the program, review the report by the Inspectors General, and work with the Congress to take any additional steps I deem necessary to protect the lives – and the liberty – of the American people.

TRUST me. Senator, if we could trust you--"you" as a human being, one with power who's asking for more, not "you" personally, on which question I'm more agnostic--we wouldn't need the legislation.

Which reminds me, we don't need the legislation.

It doesn't fucking matter what the "threat" is.

Which reminds me, where's the threat again?

I mean, is it too much to ask, as we ram home sans lubrication an unconscionable expansion of the powers the Bush administration was forced, despite all its Good Intentions, to simply skirt or ignore, that we publicly, if half-heartedly, re-assess the threat? Abraham Lincoln is forever sullied by the suspension of habeas corpus. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, for all his accomplishments, is the guy who imprisoned American citizens for the crime of Japanese heritage. Those acts took place under grave threat to the continuation of the Republic, not hyped-up permanent war over the possibility of evildoers out there somewhere.

So let's do what the administration has refused to do to this point. Let's name a single example of this sort of trampling our most basic liberties resulting in a tangible result. Just one. We'll forego the requirement that it clearly involve a risk to American lives, if you promise not to use any examples involving six unemployed brown people, a package of M-80s, and a Chicago Transit Authority bus schedule.

Just one. We remind you that that Stupid Color-Coded Threat Advisory System--wow, people sure slunk away from that one like they did the great Columbus, Ohio, dam-busting of Thurber's youth, didn't they?--used to go up and down like a yo-yo, yet never once rose before an act of terrorism. We remind you that in the bad old outmoded FISA days Acting President Bush was handed a memo detailing somebody named bin-Laden and something about an attack. The NSA can spy on whomever it wants. FISA--another piece of "broken" legislation which, like campaign finance reform, was never designed to really do what it purported to do--is just a CYA for getting caught going beyond the pale. And considering that the Bush administration's response to precisely that was to make sure the Justice Department did nothing about it, it seems wholly unnecessary, at least as a form of "protection" for the citizenry. Especially with a President we can trust.

To my recollection, the Bush administration has claimed one, maybe two, instances where FISA just wasn't quick enough.  Which, of course, wouldn't have meant they wouldn't act.  It's just what they could manage when looking for an excuse.  Kinda in the way the stuff on an Adam Sandler movie trailer is the funniest shit they could find.  

So, go on, Senator, demand an example, and show us that Civil Liberties, as a buzzword, is at least allowed to sit in the ballpark while National Defense calls all the plays.

PS, fuck opposing telecom immunity. It's something any decent public official should do; we'll be able to look at the tote board on that one momentarily. The people responsible for cashing in our liberties like a kited check are never going to pay for doing so, immunity or no. The thing to do, right now, is to pledge that as President you will get to the bottom of everything the Bush administration has been up to. Bonus points for investigating the governmental takeover that was Clinton Scandals, Inc., and opening the books on Iran Contra. That is, if you're not too busy taking additional steps to protect American freedoms you just sold for a riband to stick in your lapel. It's the right thing to do. Trust me.


Jaye Ramsey Sutter said...

And don't forget that when we busted Nazis on the east coast we treated them with as human beings should treat other human beings in their captivity. The conservatives think that torture while not good enough for Nazis is perfectly acceptable for terrorists.

Yet another example of how Obama isn't "new" and "improved."

And he should start apologizing to Hillary because I have yet to feel the love. He wants women to get over it--yes he said those words--and realize that John McCain isn't their friend.

Michael Dietz said...

"Apologizing to Hillary?" For what, exactly? Not losing the nomination to her crack team of DLC retreads?

Or perhaps he should apologize to Hillary for not living up to her model of Heroic Progressive Struggle (offer void whenever trumped by the prospect of corporate donations)? And where has the newly minted Socialist Senator from New York been on the FISA issue, by the way? Perhaps I've missed all the speaking truth to power she's been doing.

Does anybody really think we'd be getting less of a reaming on this from Hillary, if she were than nominee, than we're getting from Barack?

Anonymous said...

Me hearties, recall, if you will, ten months? a year? ago -- eons, it seemed, before the onset of eagerly bombarded anti-Obama/Clinton vitriol, how we all were hoping that this time, this time for sure, let's have a real candidate to vote for? Like Edwards? Or Kucinich? Or anyone-at-all who had the temerity to acknowledge at least a tiny part of the elephantine truth that's been screaming at us since when? 2002? 2003?

Waal, pardners, Obama has won. Like good proles everywhere, we're compelled to hold our noses, vote out the Mars-Attacks wing of the Twin-Kleptos Party and hope for the best. And I woulda said the same for Clinton.

His (?) questionmark,


map106 said...

Two things:

Well, forget the first; I've already said it enough times.

Secondly, I must say, BHO has been the first candidate I remember to give the finger to his constituency (and the citizens at large) before having officially won the nomination.

Hattie said...

Yes, he has told a lot of his backers to stuff it, or he has insulted them. Gotta keep middle America happy, you know.
My Obama fan friends are getting mighty quiet, but I see a new respect for me in their eyes, because unlike them I never believed for a second that Obama was anything but a bullshitter.

Candy said...

So, where exactly is Hillary on FISA? I've read that Senators Dodd & Feingold are planning to fillibuster. Haven't heard anything about Hillary doing so . . .

crickets chirping

We coulda had Edwards or Dodd, but no, as a party we had to sally forth with the identity politics campaign. I have yet to see a single Clinton supporter say in what ways Hillary (abortion is a tragedy! Oh noes!) Clinton is more liberal than Obama.

more crickets chirping.

Hillary took big bucks from the telecoms. Obama didn't, but now that he's not taking public money he can't afford to have doors slammed in his face. This is the way American politics works these days, folks. It's money, pure and simple. And while we're all worrying about apologizing to Clinton about what-the-fuck-ever nothing is ever going to change until we get together to force campaign finance reform with real teeth.

further cricket chirping ensues.